Rooster unfriendly to chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chuckachucka, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Crowing

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    I have a Pekin bantam roo, a year old, who is a a good little guy. He is not human aggressive and has a very calm, tolerant disposition. He looks after the hens well and even tolerates my one large fowl hen who is so dominant that she refuses his advances despite taking all his best tidbits.

    However one of my pullets has just hatched a single chick and he did not respond well to the chick, to put it mildly. I have to admit I had romantic aspirations of them being a cute little family, although I know to be very cautious about any other chicken around a chick and mother hen. I let the rooster see the hen and chick a couple of times whilst holding him out of reach before letting him on the ground, but he went straight in with the dominance wing dance to the hen and gave the chick a nasty peck.

    The rooster is now being kept well and truly away from the hen and chick.

    What I would like to know is why roosters are sometimes unfriendly to their own chicks. It seems to be completely illogical! Is this the norm and the stories I've heard of chick loving roosters the exceptions? And is there any way to encourage the rooster, chick and mother hen to all get along?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

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    Out of all the roosters I've had just a few are great with chicks, the others do as yours did and peck and attack them. There's a reason a hen usually leaves the flock to brood. She naturally takes a week or so to bring the chicks out to the flock, by than chicks are more spry and can escape most pecking.

    I recommend you confine your hen and chick with a circle of wire for a week or two so the rest get used to seeing the chick, and the chick can gain some strength.

    As far as the hen there can be some drama with the flock, and others pecking or even fighting with her during brooding.

    In general a hen hatching seems disruptive to a flock which seems to go against nature, but other hens are only concerned with their potential offspring, and the rooster may be trying to weed out any weak chicks, but only they truly know.
     
    aart and chuckachucka like this.
  3. Roosters110

    Roosters110 Chirping

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    I have a chick aggressive rooster.Went through the same thing.

    I think it’s more of a personality thing,some just aren’t like others,simple as that.For some roosters blood chicks or chicks period don’t matter while some have an instinct to kill only stray chicks anything that doesn’t have his bloodline.
     
    chuckachucka likes this.
  4. Roosters110

    Roosters110 Chirping

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    Chickens are somewhat like lions crazy comparisons but true
     
    chuckachucka likes this.
  5. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Crowing

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    thanks for the replies! I've always kept hens and their chicks separated by wire in the coop and run because there is always issues with the other hens pecking or chasing the chicks, but I just hoped it might be different with the rooster. This is the first time I've hatched chicks with a rooster around. I always bought in fertile eggs before.
     
    alexa009 and oldhenlikesdogs like this.
  6. alexa009

    alexa009 Crossing the Road

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    As a matter of fact I have had chickens for a few years now and I've never had one go broody since I've had them. If I were to bring a chick to one of my barred rocks, buff orpington, brahmas, Easter egger, australorp etc. The only thing they would do is attack them. I honestly don't even think they know what a chick is.
     
  7. Roosters110

    Roosters110 Chirping

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    My hens peck chicks on their backs just to assert them,but I have never had a hen hurt them.Genrrelly it’s just pullets and roosters.
     
  8. lomine

    lomine Crowing

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    I agree that it depends on the rooster. I think it also depends on his actions. If your rooster just gave the chick a quick peck on the head, he's just showing it who is boss. If he really went after it and chased it I would be more concerned. You also have to keep in mind that he is still young and this is his first chick. He may just be curious. My rooster has always mostly ignored chicks. He doesn't care about them either way. I have more trouble with the older hens pecking chicks.

    Also, was it an aggressive wing drop or did he drop his wing and "dance" around her? He may just have been trying to court her since they were separated for a while.
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Very good points here.....was thinking along the same lines.
     

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