Roo trying to adopt baby chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cldineley, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. cldineley

    cldineley Chirping

    Jan 6, 2011
    Recently our neighbors hen has been bringing her 4 babies in our yard ,and my roo has taken a liking to them. He always tries to get the one hen we have so far to stay on the nest and sit on the eggs but has not had any luck so far. Yesterday when I looked out my window I saw the baby chicks in my chickens cage with the roo guarding them while they ate some food. He looked so proud of the little brood and was disapointed when they left. I was worried that he might attack them or the hen would but he protected them especially from the mean little hen we have. Do roo's usually try to adopt chicks that are not his? I just thought it was strange. Since he saw the babies he has been trying even harder to get my hen in the nesting box but since she is molting its not going to happen. I just thought it was funny and cute.

  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    It happens. Not very often, but it does happen. If he hasn't tried to kill them by now, he isn't going to. I've left brooding hens with their roosters and generally the rooster is quite protective of the brood. I do have roosters that aren't safe with babies, so it's just a matter of observance and taking note of which are good with chicks, and which aren't.
  3. cldineley

    cldineley Chirping

    Jan 6, 2011
    Today while I was cleaning out the coop and pen, which I let my chickens free range while doing it, he went straight over to the neighbors yard and tried to collect them and bring them back. This is the first time he went in that yard. He knows that the hen and babies are over there. Now there is about a 10 foot wooded area between our yards and hard to see over there but I eventually found him. The neighbor has a few hens with babies of different ages as far as I could see. He didn't attack any, he was just trying to herd them all to my yard. After almost an hour later he gave up and came home alone and mad. I've never seen a rooster so interested in baby chicks or getting some before. This is the first roo I've ever owned and a good one because he's not aggressive at all.
  4. Bravo

    Bravo Songster

    Aug 24, 2009
    Quote:What a sweet boy! [​IMG] I love roosters like that!

  5. nwfl

    nwfl Songster

    Jan 4, 2011
    Northwest Florida
    I keep my roosters in seperate pens and breeding pens. I recently rehomed the best EE rooster I ever owned to a woman startin a new flock and we're still missing him, but new gene pool needed. He was amazing, making nests, delivering tasty treats to ladies, guarding eggs, teaching chicks and juveniles and most of that on the other side of wire wall. And he was huge!
  6. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Songster

    Apr 1, 2010
    Quote:That's so sweet I think you should just buy him a few little chicks of his own. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. MamaRoo

    MamaRoo Songster

    Jul 5, 2011
    A ferry ride away, WA
    Quote:That's so sweet I think you should just buy him a few little chicks of his own. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I was thinking the same thing. Maybe from the neighbor?

  8. cldineley

    cldineley Chirping

    Jan 6, 2011
    I was hoping that the game hen that's with him would hatch some eggs for him but she has no interest in it. I do have two 4 month old hens that I finally got in the same pen with him, but the game hen is not happy about it. He is doing his best at keeping her from hurting the others too badly even though they are twice her size already. Maybe one of these new hens will give him some children after they start laying, which they haven't yet. I think my roo is pretty big too, between 8 & 10 pounds. I haven't weighed him though, doesn't like to be picked up.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I think parental care by rooster more typical than not, especially if rooster mated with hen and time available for bonding. Roosters may adopt chicks for two reasons. It may be a method to impress hen with parenting qualities. It may also be a way to acquire hens, raise them yourself.

    As a general rule my game roosters are excellent parents. In smaller flocks they will actually invest in their offspring even after hen stops and initiates another brood. Rooster I am watching now even feeds grasshoppers to his sons that have been crowing for a good 10 days.

  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Every roo I've had has been protective of chicks. Roos have an investment in making sure those chicks grow up to pass on his genes. I think a rooster caring for chicks is actually more common than one that attacks them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by