Some questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jacilee, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. jacilee

    jacilee Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay. I was right in my intro post, 5 hens and 1 roo. I am wondering about some stuff so here I am.
    I have Orphingtons only.
    My rooster has started flopping his head from side to side, not constant just now and then, I chalked it up to him trying to be bossy and show intruders (hubby and son, he barely tolerates them and only if I am there with them, I really don't want to get rid of him 'cause he is so handsome and a good boy) who is in charge but worried it might be something else. It sounds stupid to write that out. lol
    Also he doesn't seem to eat much, I mean he eats pellets and grain that is the staple but if I throw out pasta or veggies he actually calls to the girls and will peck at the food but not really eat it. Like he is showing them where it is and that it is safe to eat. I have only actually seen him eat something 2 times. I was assuming that was normal as well but am second guessing myself.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
    It may help if you can get a video of what your rooster is doing so that we can see what you are seeing - I know that may be difficult as you say he only does it occasionally.
    On the eating thing - that is often called "tidbitting' and, yes, it is quite common and perfectly normal for them to do it.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You are right that his behavior is a mild form of dominant behavior. Just keep an eye on him and squelch any progression of dominance - pecking at the ground and sidestepping you, wing dancing humans, flogging etc. Calling the hens to the 'good stuff' is exactly what a good flock leader does. It sounds as if this guy has a lot of positive traits. There are several on site threads on dealing with aggressive behavior. You may want to search these out for future reference.
     
  4. jacilee

    jacilee Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for so quickly answering! I don't accept any aggression towards me or anyone with me from him. If he does I always make him back down and make sure he knows I am in charge, and hubby and son are as well. He still loves to catch them not looking though. I tell them never take your eyes off him, he will know it and nail you but they seem to forget to watch him.
    I am glad to know I am thinking right on the head bob and picking and calling though. I have lurked here for a while and read people talking about getting attached to their birds and was always, psh whatever they are for food. Now I see why people get attached, I told hubby that I think these original 6 at least will probably live to the full length, just because I feel like they are my babies.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It appears that you have a good eye and the ability to read behavior. Understand that just as you are reading him, he is reading the humans in his life. Some young roosters once the T production levels off mellow out and really back off in their aggression. Others may take the alternate route. Hopefully he is of the first sort.
     

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