Rooster showing compassion?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Brattybiddy, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Brattybiddy

    Brattybiddy New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Sep 19, 2010
    Wirt County, WV
    We got Oliver – our white leghorn rooster- from our son, after Oliver beat the smack out of one of my son’s other roosters. He immediately settled down among our hens.
    One of our hens sustained an injury when she jumped or fell off the roost. She was in great discomfort and was having difficulty getting around the outside pen. Our first indication of her situation was when we found her lying in the pen and Oliver was lying right beside her. We kept her in the coop with the other chickens for the next couple of days because she was eating and drinking. Where ever she went- Oliver was there to protect her. He would either lie or stand next to her. We witnessed him gently touching his beak to her face. He also seemed to keep the other chickens away from her. Sadly she didn’t survive her injuries and I felt so bad for Oliver. He genuinely seemed to really care for her. We are fairly new to chickens and I have wondered if it is characteristic behavior for a rooster to be so compassionate about a sick or injured hen? Have any of you witnessed similiar behavior with your rooster?
    Thank you-- Beth
     
  2. RollingForkMeadows

    RollingForkMeadows Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    Sep 6, 2010
    Minnesota
    Oh my gosh, that is so sweet. I'm in love with Oliver!
    Our rooster stayed close to a post the day that one of our guinea fowl smacked into it and broke her poor dumb neck. I don't know if he was hoping she would come back to life (it was only his loitering that led us to her whereabouts) or thinking she may still be alive and was trying to guard her. I've seen so much personality in this guy (Butterscotch) at only 3 1/2 months, I certainly think they are capable of caring for other living things.
     
  3. prov31gal

    prov31gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    410
    1
    131
    Apr 29, 2009
    over the mountain
    we had a silkie roo who would try to round up chicks. but leghorns always seemed mean to me, i suppose anything is possible!
     
  4. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,760
    41
    238
    Jan 29, 2007
    St.Charles, QC
    I haven't noticed so much with a roo but when we moved into our previous home the owner had left 4 sorry looking barred rocks. One of them was full of mites and almost bald everywhere, we treated them but of course the bald one needed time to feather out. I'd peek in at night when all were roosted and what I saw almost had me in tears.... bald one in the middle of 2 of her sisters and they both had the bald one covered with one of their wings on either side of her to keep her warm. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  5. shortstaque

    shortstaque Chillin' With My Peeps

    307
    2
    111
    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    [​IMG] AWWWWW!!! How sweet of them all.
     
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    7,738
    96
    321
    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I absolutely think these birds are capable of not only compassion, but proactive complex social behavior. I am consistenly amazed by ours, and have learned what the roo in our backyard flock is 'saying' when he 'talks.' He has a sound for each of our dogs, each family member, various things you see in the yard (squirrels, rabbits, etc.) and for varied predators, be it ground, aerial, etc.

    I'm stunned by how much a brain the size of a pea can do...and have become more and more disgusted by the way animal factories treat them.

    (stepping off soapbox quickly...)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  7. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Now that is too cute! And so is the original post. Maybe we say they're just dumb and heartless (brainless) because it makes us feel better when we eat them. [​IMG]

    Toast'n Jelly :

    I haven't noticed so much with a roo but when we moved into our previous home the owner had left 4 sorry looking barred rocks. One of them was full of mites and almost bald everywhere, we treated them but of course the bald one needed time to feather out. I'd peek in at night when all were roosted and what I saw almost had me in tears.... bald one in the middle of 2 of her sisters and they both had the bald one covered with one of their wings on either side of her to keep her warm. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,749
    5,383
    576
    May 11, 2010
    If food is not scarce and if they are not overcrowded chickens can display incredible devotion to each other.
     
  9. ellieroo

    ellieroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    1
    151
    Mar 22, 2008
    Right now I have Mr. & Mrs. Maran they are a couple period.He dotes on her and she follows him everywhere.They don't care what the rest of the flock is doing.Twice now I've been in the barn while Mrs. is laying her egg He sings! [​IMG]
     
  10. Brattybiddy

    Brattybiddy New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Sep 19, 2010
    Wirt County, WV
    Thanks for the replies. I enjoyed reading about the different personalities of your chickens and roosters. Obviously chickens and roosters are capable of displaying compassion towards each other. Toast n Jelly- your description about how the two chickens took care of their bald sister is amazing and so moving. I wanted to post Oliver’s photo on my BYC page- but I have no idea about how to do that. I guess I am a bit of a dunce in that department. I uploaded the photos but I have no inkling as to where they went. LOL
    Oh well. Thanks again- Beth
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by