What is you’re experience with differences in chicken /flock behaviour after the old boss has gone?

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
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Let me start to tell what I experienced with my flock of 7 after my bossy lavender Dutch disappeared. At first I didn’t know what happened and I wondered if she would return. But she didn’t.

The first 2 weeks the flock was quit timid. They were not so anxious to go outside to free range. Especially my Dutch just as well stayed in the run. And were hiding often in the under a bench in the run. So I thought it was probably some kind of predator that took my lavender Dutch.

Buzzard
After seeing a buzzard it was quit clear that my lavender Dutch must have been taken by this bird of prey. This lady was the boss of the flock ever since I had chickens and there was no rooster to take that role.

The second in command (partridge coloured Dutch Ini mini) took over her place to rule the flock. But she is more friendly and one of my black Dutch took over the command role more and more.

Separated by own choice
All this didn’t surprise me but what I found really strange is that my Dutch and my naine de Tournaisis don’t sleep in the same ‘room’ anymore.

Before Pino disappeared there was one Tournaisis (Grafie) that often slept in the old small coop. Probably to avoid the quarrelling at sunset over the best place on the roost.

Sometimes Grafie had company from my youngest (Tournaisis mix) called Janice. But now the Tournaisis all sleep in the small coop and the Dutch all sleep in the second coop.
The second coop is a more spacious extension with 2 roosts for max 10 small bantams.

I don’t think this new sleeping behaviour wil change again because they sleep separated for quit some time now. I don’t have any problems with it. But its makes me curious if one of you experienced changes in behaviour too , after the boss of the flock died.
 

CluckerFamily

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
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My old boss was my rooster. When he died, the flock was having more squabbles, the pecking order was changing, the lowest on the pecking order preferred to free range by themselves and would come running to me every time my screen door shut, she was my gardening buddy for a couple weeks.
When I got a new rooster from a local greenhouse who had too many, the pecking order went back to normal, everyone was part of the flock again, and all the squabbles stopped.
The power of a rooster!
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
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My Coop
Yes. A rooster is great.

But where I live people live too close to each other to have noisy roosters. Just one person complaining is enough. Besides that it annoys me too if the rooster starts at 5 am in the morning to tell me a new day has started. The coop is just 10 meters from my bedroom window. 👂

Two times I hatched fertile eggs in spring and kept the cockerel until spring next year bc I wanted more chickens next year. This way I can have another hatch the year after without buying fertile eggs.

So a bossy hen will do. Now my Black has taken over the role of her mother. She comes to me to say ‘hello’ and likes a pat on her back. Which is much nicer then a protective cockerel with too much hormones running around his brain,
 

jwehl

Crowing
Nov 3, 2020
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Atlanta GA
I've heard chickens tend to stick to their own breed, no matter how you raise them. Maybe she was the glue holding the two sides together and you just have 2 mini flocks now.
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
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I've heard chickens tend to stick to their own breed, no matter how you raise them. Maybe she was the glue holding the two sides together and you just have 2 mini flocks now.
If they are free in the run there aren’t 2 groups. Its only in the evening that they split up roosting.

The mix hen is 50% Dutch and raised by 2 Dutch broodies. Her colour is very clearly a mix but her body is very slim and more like the Tournaisis. She is now part of the Tournaisis mini flock. :idunnoShe probably likes her older sisters better then her old aunties.
 

RebeccaS2010

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2020
19
37
36
Central Florida
Back in August we lost 13 of our flock of 21 in one night, including our rooster. It took at least 4 weeks for flock dynamics to settle down, partly because we added 6 new pullets into the mix to rebuild. For a while we had 3 mini flocks: the 5 adult hens, the 3 remaining spring pullets we had raised, and the 6 new pullets. Then one of our pullets turned out to be a cockerel. He still hasn’t taken on the true role of rooster, and even now the flock dynamics keep changing. They are one flock, but there’s been some jostling for position lately as our pullets are getting close to laying and our older hens are molting. Our rooster hasn’t really put a stop to the nonsense yet. I keep hoping he will mature (but keep his good temperament) and help settle everyone down.
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
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the Netherlands
My Coop
Back in August we lost 13 of our flock of 21 in one night, including our rooster. It took at least 4 weeks for flock dynamics to settle down, partly because we added 6 new pullets into the mix to rebuild. For a while we had 3 mini flocks: the 5 adult hens, the 3 remaining spring pullets we had raised, and the 6 new pullets. Then one of our pullets turned out to be a cockerel. He still hasn’t taken on the true role of rooster, and even now the flock dynamics keep changing. They are one flock, but there’s been some jostling for position lately as our pullets are getting close to laying and our older hens are molting. Our rooster hasn’t really put a stop to the nonsense yet. I keep hoping he will mature (but keep his good temperament) and help settle everyone down.
Gosh :hugs
So many casualties, it must have been hard. Do you know what predator did this?

I had a few cockerels too. They where nice until they stated mating and felt the urge to protect his hens against me.

How old is you’re cockerel now? No attempts to crow yet?

Edit:spelling
 
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RebeccaS2010

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2020
19
37
36
Central Florida
Gosh :hugs
So many casualties, it must have been hard. Do you know what predator did this?

I had a few cockerels too. They where nice until they stated mating and felt the urge to protect his hens against me.

How old is you’re cockerel now? No attempts to crow yet?
It was horrible. We are fairly certain it was a raccoon, but there’s a possibility that it was a fox, too. There was some poop left at the scene and the critter had to climb up the wire and over the door to get in. That design flaw has since been corrected with a sturdy board and some new strands of hot wire. Whatever it was, our rooster seems to have injured it before it could get away, though we ended up having to euthanize the roo because of the severity of his injuries. He’s the reason we chose to get another rooster, because he took such good care of his girls, was docile, and defended them with his life. We intentionally went looking for our Black Copper Marans cockerel because we didn’t know for sure yet that we already had a cockerel. 😅 The Marans just turned 12 weeks old. Our “pullet” that turned out to be a cockerel is a Blue Jersey Giant who will be 6 months old next week. Neither are crowing yet. We’ve handled the Marans a lot, so I’m hoping he stays friendly. The Jersey didn’t get handled as much when he was younger because he was raised by a broody hen who was a little on the wild side. We’ve been trying to handle him more, since we can generally pet him or pick him up easily right as he’s going to roost for the night. I really don’t mind if he stays stand-off-ish, as long as he doesn’t get mean!
 

JacinLarkwell

Crowing
Mar 19, 2020
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South-Eastern Montana
When I lost my old male, there wasn't much of a shift. His son had been raised with the flock and naturally took over. The head hens stayed in 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and he moved from 5th to 1st.

Only difference I noticed was more spread out bare backs since he's a harsher breeder than his dad. However because he could now breed with all the gals and not just the one he was allowrd, that one hen was able to heal up quite a bit
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
2,175
7,278
427
the Netherlands
My Coop
When I lost my old male, there wasn't much of a shift. His son had been raised with the flock and naturally took over. The head hens stayed in 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and he moved from 5th to 1st.

Only difference I noticed was more spread out bare backs since he's a harsher breeder than his dad. However because he could now breed with all the gals and not just the one he was allowrd, that one hen was able to heal up quite a bit
I hope for you’re hens he wil be more gentle as he grows older. I also read that young roosters are more horny than older ones. :oops: Maybe nice to give the girls more hiding places?
 

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