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Roo Behavior...What To Look For?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickaroo!, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen some posts that say people's chicks are displaying "roo behavior". What exactly should I look for to see if any of mine is displaying "roo behavior"? My chicks are about 9wks. old.
     
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    By 9 wks., you should be able to tell if yours are cockerels just by looking at them. You should notice the bright combs, wattles developing, and the thick legs. I think the typical "roo behavior" that you are referring to, is just overall dominance. My 13 wk. RIR cockerel seems to let everyone know he is boss by pecking all of the other chickens necks and if there is a hen squabble, he will come running to straighten it out. He puffs his hackle feathers up and sometime even lifts his wings and the hens back right down. The hens most of the time seem to mind their own business, but Rhodey runs around making sure everyone knows that he's the king! [​IMG]
     
  3. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I have noticed one or two seem to have more red in their comb. When I put them in the run, one in particular likes to walk around with it's wings kind of open and down. Like it's trying to make itself look bigger.

    What is the hen to roo ratio anyway?
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    10 hens for each roo with common breeds.

    15-18 hens for each roo with Med breeds and banties.

    8-10 hens per roo for heavies.

    These are the suggested numbers. YMMV, of course.

    Dominance is their thing. They dont like strangers, be it bird or human, especially when the hens are around. They will attack strangers, un-provoked, for this reason. Fighting is part of their make-up. Some call it aggression and want to see it, and the male, done away with. Shame, that.
    They strut and parade around, fearless in their domain.
    They crow, issuing challenge to all comers and announcing their presence. This also serves to marshall the flock.
    They crow whenever they feel like it. They dont need a sunrise or a windmill in the background to do it.
    They guard the flock, alerting them to danger.
    They also alert them to choice food, when found.
    Males mate a lot. It's the other thing they do. Dont be alarmed by it, but do keep enough hens for him. He will wear out the hapless hens that are too few.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2008
  5. paul65

    paul65 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a welsumer roo that will be 12 weeks old 6/23 and has been crowing for a week, funny little crow but i guess he's still learning so you should be hearing it soon to lol.
     
  6. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    My roos are 5 weeks old... they are the first out of the coop when I open the door... and they have taken to fighting with one another to establish dominance. One Silver EE is top chick and loves to grab the other roos by the neck feathers and shake them. But, there is a RIR x EE that is a bit bigger and has been challenging him lately. LOL It doesn't matter much, they are mostly destined for the stewpot just as soon as they are big enough [​IMG]
     
  7. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Uh Oh! I think by just looking at my chicks I may have 2 roos!! That means I'll only have a total of 7 hens (4 the same age as the possible roos and 3 older girls). That works out to, to many roos for then hens, right!!?? What if I kept both roos? Would that be a serious problem for the few hens I have?
    None of mine will be destined for my stew pot.
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    That works out to, to many roos for then hens, right!!??

    Pretty much.

    What if I kept both roos? Would that be a serious problem for the few hens I have?

    Depends on if you're one of the hens. They'll be mated a lot, that's for sure. Feather picking and scratching can result. We're talking worn backs.

    And the males will fight.
    There won't be as much harmony in the chicken yard as one might hope for.​
     
  9. debakadeb

    debakadeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It' s my understanding from reading this forum that if you don't have a rooster, sometime one or two of your hens will take on rooish behavior (alpha-hen). I have thought several times I must have 3 roosters, 3 hens. However, after I may just have an alpha hen.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=65506
     
  10. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I guess I may have to put one roo on here in the BST section! [​IMG]
     

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