will my rooster kill the chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tiburciob33, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    When I want a rooster to be friendly to young chicks, I pick a rooster that is fully adult and by himself. I keep a lot of roosters, most penned and most of those without female companions. Such roosters readily adopt chicks as it can be a mechanism to start a harem if adult females are not present. When I say chicks, they are usually at least 3 weeks old. I have had some older cocks adopt chicks only a week old but that only works in very warm weather as during first few days and night the chicks need brooding the cock is slow to provide. This behavior is outside what most think possible with roosters but can be promoted relatively easily. I have even had cockerels do same but results much less consistent.

    See images here of cock brooding chicks.
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    Further details in thread.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/882368/what-to-look-for-in-a-broody-rooster

    I have had similar results where cock is confined in large rabbit hutch for a few days with a large brood. Rooster must undergo what I think are hormonal changes that adjust his behavior. Those changes are induced in part by the chicks coming into contact with roosters breast area. Rooster does not develop brood patch like hen but he still provides considerable warmth.
     
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  2. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed


    I have put younger chicks with adault roo's but I normally have the chicks at 10 to 12 weeks when I do this and it works out very well ......
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    With my games in broody rooster mode the rooster takes over brood care at around five weeks and keeps it up until brood is around 12 weeks. By that time the second brood is nearing point where he begins to invest in it. This occurs only will one hen; one rooster pairs.

    I think it is outright normal for roosters to take in unrelated 10 to 12 week old juveniles to start a harem as that is time they often disperse from natal harem. Upon maturity cockerels are kicked out and some pullets stay on. Young birds likely benefit from arrangement as well. In my setting they get some protection and priority to quality roosting sites that other juveniles do not get.
     
  4. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    That is sooo adorable. I have never seen a rooster brood chicks like that[​IMG]
     
  5. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    I think it just depend son the rooster personality etc. I have had a rooster that would try and mate a hen with chicks and while doing so stepping on the chicks and killing them!
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    a rooster that kills chicks won't last long here.

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  7. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

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    Same here, we got rid of the rooster as soon as we find out that he was a murderer!
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have never had a mature rooster try to kill chicks. I have had a very large number of roosters. Very definitely reconsider your husbandry techniques and adjust those if a rooster or especially roosters are even aggressive towards chicks.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I've had non-dominant cockerels peck at chicks, much like some hens will do if a young chick invades their personal space. I've never had a dominant rooster, even if it was still a cockerel, or any mature rooster try to harm a chick in any way. I hardly ever have a dominant cockerel around. I practically always have a dominant mature rooster who takes care of his flock.

    When those cockerel chicks develop enough to become a clear threat to the dominant rooster's dominance, he will teach them better. Still, I've never had a mature rooster injure one of those immature but maturing cockerels. He generally doesn't even get a chance to whip the young whippersnapper's butt. The young one runs away as soon as it is challenged. They are not dummies.

    What some people call roosters are really just confused adolescents.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  10. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

     

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