rooster picking up chick

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Today while working on yard I observed intersting interaction between game rooster and one of his bitties. Rooster is dominant (only adult male) of free ranging flock with territory centered on front porch with boundaries presently approximating edge of mowed yard. Flock also contains two hens, one game hen and one red jungle fowl hen with nine chicks 8-days post-hatch and 12 chicks 1-day post-hatch, respectively. Both hens incubated and are now brooding chicks at night on front porch. Observation deals with elder chicks as entire group fed on medicated chick grower scattered on ground so dog can not eat it as easily. Rooster likes to eat stuff as well. After both hens and majority of chicks were satiated, only a single chick was out feeding with rooster as both methodically searched out remaining crumbles. They were feeding at such close proximity the chick would bump roosters head. This went on for a couple minutes when rooster picked up chick with his beak and held about 8 inches above the ground for a couple seconds. The chick made low intensity distress calls but not enough to rile mother hen. The rooster then dropped chick and both immediately resumed feeding as before. Feeding continued for another minute or so.

    I have seen roosters pickup chicks before and usually aggression was obvious and acted upon. Even this rooster has done same with older chicks not of his flock. This same rooster will also allow his chicks to at least attempt to jump up on his back,
     
  2. CatDaddyAlbert

    CatDaddyAlbert NoFeathersRuffled

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Gumboro, Delaware
    If the same two age groups of bitties were in my flock...I would have the Roo isolated. I have seen too many times over the years Roos kill bitties. Maybe not the first time......but I would bet there is a good possibility, although I would not bet the farm on it. I have seen enough where I just would not allow the situation to continue.

    You of course may very well have better luck and this may have been a one time incident with the Rooster. I truly hope things work out and all of your bitties live happy lives.

    A
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    On whole rooster benefits chicks. He does occasionally help find food and if hens get riles up he is there in flash to engage threat (cat or rooster from rival flock). He has also demonstrated ability to thwart Coopers Hawks going after chicks. The hawks do not take chicks or even try if rooster is around. Normal breeding system I use with rooster interacting with hens and chicks.
     

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