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What to Look for in a Broody Rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, May 4, 2014.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Chicks in following image are doing another activity that suggests to me they are weaned. They are loafing together in a clump without mother. This occurring when ambient temperature was 54 F so not overly warm. This is evidence I need to clean garage tomorrow.
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    Second shows father and mother in close proximity to other chicks. Father is preening. We may have a louse problem which is to be expected when so many are roosting together in same spot every night. That will self-correct as soon as chicks start roosting up.
    [​IMG]



    Chicks now starting to get aggressive in their own right and can now as a group drive off a mixed group of Ancona Ducks and Silver Sebrights despite latter having males already crowing. Their parents still back them up.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    For about 15 minutes the entire brood got separated from both parents that seemed to go out on a date. Chicks made a major ruckus causing dogs to mill about looking for trouble. I got them to calm down by bringing out feed. Once Slugger saw chicks he called them away from feed causing them all to run over to him and their mother reuniting everyone. Bonding with mother no longer seems reinforced by vocalizations.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Starting to see increased dispersion between brood and both adults that is a conflict of different food needs. Blanch has 5 eggs in new nest and is averaging one additional egg per day. The now juvenile offspring are every bit as capable of foraging as adults, especially when hawking, but the juveniles have much smaller crop capacities causing them go off and loaf when their mother needs to continue foraging to realize crop fill. I think this is where Sluggers tidbitting specifically for her speeds her rate of crop fill because more quality eats like insects he gives to her making to she effectively doubles her foraging rate. All sort of benefits to be realized by that as it keeps her in tight within harem territory (form of mate guarding) and lowers time of risk to depredation when exposed while foraging. Foraging bouts for juveniles are quicker where they go to loafing area and adults get their about 15 minutes later.

    Egg laying interval appears to be about 22 hours..

    Clutch should be set in about a week with 12 to 14 eggs. Then Blanch will be again broody leaving Slugger to hang more with the juvenile brood.


    Slugger and Blanch just stopped foraging and Slugger has begun crowing. He crowed very little last night while the bantam cockerel went every 10 minutes or so.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Just before leaving for work this morning I went out to feed birds. I did final mixing of feed in buckets prior to going out to cockyard to dispense feed. Birds can see me there and always get excited. Of those are pullets used for broodies that are free-range. One had lost her chicks a couple days ago and is trying to recondition in a hurry. She got all excited and easily flew 300 feet to get almost to me. Twice in mid flight she appeared to prepare to land but then sped back up. She landed at edge of yard (Slugger's territory) so I promptly fed her. Shortly afterwards Slugger saw her and chased her into air and she flew back towards her range. Slugger followed about 50 feet before turning back in the air to land at his starting point. The 300 foot flight was likely less demanding than Slugger's demonstration but both put on a show. Camera will be ready tomorrow.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Interesting change as group went to roost. The last bird into garage was the mother as she was out hawking craneflies in freshly cut grass. Her crop was packed and likely with a lot of high quality insects and succulent greens and maybe some oats left on drive. Rooster and juveniles had already crowded into nest a good 15 minutes before mother. That nest has got to be getting hotter than blazes with so many birds packed in. When I look at them prior to last light they are already panting and holding wings out but latter method does not work well without airflow.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Learned a new chicken "word". Today when I got home from work the Missouri Dominique harem with broody game hens all came across the bridge well into the western end of Slugger's territory. Slugger was about 50' away in the garden which was separated from area of interlopers by about 30' of tall fescue. Slugger was aware of the interlopers and produced a drawled growl that is reserved for something he sees in the distance except this sound was louder and deeper. Slugger then ran all the was around on mowed grass taking route just over 100' and growled twice again. Even before he saw the other birds he was coming with wings down and cotton up and moving fast. He first saw a hen with chicks and went straight at her causing her to launch and fly over high weeds to get past another batch of high weeds. She landed near two more hens with chicks and Slugger went at all of them running fast. He briefly got in the middle of group and cut his wing for one but she beat it back to her range with chicks in tow. Ralph (rival harem master) ran over and the two rooster began a lateral display with about 15 feet between them. This went on for less than a minute before Ralph began following his harem back across the bridge. SLugger then went back to his group. Interaction was intense but territory boundaries in the end were respected and no one got hurt. It is sometimes difficult to swallow a game rooster will not press issue but so long as blows are not struck, he can back down without fighting so long as he thinks he won the confrontation. I think Slugger scored points with some of Ralph's harem and stands a god chance of having one or more coming over to him once their current broods are weaned.

    Slugger showed no interest in rival chicks but they seemed scared to death and went into high weeds to avoid him and get back on the other side of Ralph.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The word means "I now you are here, get out".
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Believe it or not 11 juveniles each a bit bigger than a quail and both parents are still in the nest as of tonight.
    [​IMG]


    About 10 feet away the mother has a second clutch of eggs numbering nine. Every time she deposits an egg she roles the entire clutch about. Note the absence of feathers lining the nest which is evidence to contrary out there that hens pull breast feathers to line nest like a rabbit does. She will switch back into incubation mode by end of next week.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love the photo of the family crammed into the nest. It looks sort of like the old "how many frat boys can you jam in the phonebooth" stunt.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    x2 cute photo
     

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