So what age does the gentlemanly behavior towards the girls start?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shezadandy, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    The boys are just shy of 3 months right now.

    In this little subgroup there are 2 cockerels and 6 pullets (supposed to be 1 and 7).

    One is an SBEL (super blue egg layer) and the other is a Welsummer. No biting, pecking or other issues towards people. They calmly stay a respectful 4-5 feet away from me whether it's a food delivery or other visit. They do not get pet or cuddled or handled beyond the basic physical checks. No crowing yet. Overall they will have 16 ladies to share once the pullets come of age and they're integrated with the big girls.

    My question is more about how long until they start doing gentlemanly things like feeding the girls and so on- for now it's quite the opposite.

    Right now the SBEL pecks any pullet who goes for water or food anywhere near him, or if she goes for the fresh offering before he gets to it- hard enough for "bwaakk!" and will do it again if they try to return to the food or water before he's done. He doesn't pursue them beyond sending them packing, but he's absolutely the first one that eats and drinks. The other one isn't obnoxious about the eating or drinking.

    The pullets groom on the cockerels. They tend to groom the SBEL's beard, muffs and neck feathers- and that seems to be a common activity for most of the pullets. They'll do the same to the Welsummer, though they tend to groom his back. There's no feather pulling going on, more like brushing his feathers with their beaks. They stand there like little statues until they don't want any more, and end it by snapping at the pullets. (more "Bwwwakk!"). No apparent injuries from any of the above, just lots of noise.

    So how long til we get the cute stuff?!?!?
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Not all rooster will grow up to do the nice things, many can grow up to be terrors and very aggressive towards the hens and even you, it's an individual thing... Some nice, some bad, some indifferent, some focused on themselves only... But, first you have to get through the dreadful 'teen' years 6-12 months (sometimes less) when all they want to do is mate anything that they can mount over and over and over again until they can't do it anymore, this time can be very stressful for then hens...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  3. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    I've seen some posts where the boys start treating the girls well from when they're little bitty guys... but obviously not these two!!
    To introduce the tweens (boys and girls) to the big girls, I've got an adjacent run and mini-coop that I'll hopefully finish this week.

    The 2nd use of that pen will be to house the boys during those 6 months, by all accounts, a terrible time for the hens- because I won't subject them to that. I've seen some of the youtube videos and .. yeah-- no, especially when there's more than one cockerel. I've also seen posts about hens beating young cockerels - so if need be they can be separated earlier.

    Anyways, having a bachelor pad for that special time in a young rooster's life seems like the best way to make it through that time without terrorizing the hens, and seeing what we've got at a year old.

    They haven't really done anything wrong yet, but so far, nothing that points to a considerate flock leader either. I'm sure they'll make mistakes- but if we get a nasty character, to us or the hens- there's a special place ... in the freezer ... =)
     

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