re-organizing the totem pole

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joneus, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Of the 8 (5mo EE) chickens I have, 3 are cockerels. I'm keeping one, and the other two *may* be leaving tomorrow. The two that I'm giving way are #1 and #2 on the proverbial flock totem pole, and the one I'm keeping appears to be somewhere near the bottom of the entire thing, if not THE bottom.

    Once the other two are gone, how likely is it that the remaining boy will take the throne? He's pretty placid compared to the other two- if he didnt look like a cockerel, I'd swear he was a pullet. Will the higher ranking pullets keep him in line, or is he gonna get all hormonal and bossy like the others did?

    Also- he doesnt do any of the things that the other two do. He's never (to my knowledge) tried to mount any of the pullets, doesnt seem particularly interested in what may be lurking "out there" when they free range, and hasnt discovered "sharing with the girls" yet. Is it possible that he's behind the ball on this stuff because the other two do such a good job of it (a little TOO good!)? Will he pick it up once there's no competition?

    Even if he never does any of that stuff, I'm keeping him around because I think he's cool. I'm just curious to know how things might shuffle once boss #1 and boss #2 leave the coop.
     
  2. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bet you will be amazed at his transformation over the next month or two. Of course, one of the bossy girls may still rule the roost, but I think your #3 boy will come around ok.
     
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    joneus-

    Please keep us posted about how it all shakes out. It is always soooo interesting to find out how chickens act and react.
     
  4. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds to me that you are keeping he wrong roo. Good luck though!
     
  5. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will! I find their behavior and social organization fascinating.

    Whether Puddy (the boy I'm keeping) starts acting rooster-like or not, I suspect things will be a whole lot more peaceful once the other two are gone. "The General" (boss#1) is a bit of a bully and Pete (boss #2) is downright sneaky. My poor hens dont get a moments' peace with them around. I actually had to lock both of them out of the run this morning so the rest could eat their breakfast. The difference (inside the run) was amazing once they were out!
     
  6. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I thought that too, but the two I'm giving away are starting to annoy the neighbors and are abusing the heck outta my girls. I cant keep all of them, so for the sake of keeping the peace in the neighborhood, they need to go.
     
  7. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Quote:That is so insightful..... I met a chicken-keeper with a pen as large as our whole house, and 1,000 chickens--though many babies who won't have a roo because of their disruptive factors and the stress, and wear and tear on the females.

    That said, there is a book someplace where someone studied pecking-order and how it applied to human psychology. Oh NO! ;O)

    A lot of factors go into flock dynamics. It sounds like your flock will be happier and more peaceful if they can do the chicken basics, like eating with no interruption.
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    The dominant roosters are causing decreased testosterone production in the low ranked cockerel. Once they are removed he will become a true 'rooster'. His real temperment will show then. He may remain mellow or he may become aggressive. Wait and see.
     
  9. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well- they're gone... and two hours later Puddy still doesnt quite know what to do. [​IMG] When I let them out of the run, all 6 scattered in different directions. At first, Puddy found a nice green dandelion leaf and started chirping. For a second, I thought he was trying to get the girls to come back, but then he ate it and started looking for another one. [​IMG]

    I'm gonna go hang out the laundry as an excuse to be outside, keeping an eye on them.

    On a more positive note, the whole atmosphere in my back yard is noticeably more relaxed. There was no obsessive crowing, squawking pullets or frantic pacing in the run when I got home from my bike ride! THAT is a nice change!
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I doubt that 2 hours is long enough to have much effect on a subordinate cockerel. It will take time - weeks not hours.
     

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