Young rooster gives pullets a leg up
At four months old, our
Australorp rooster was still bottom of the pecking order, being chased
away from the choice food by all and sundry. Two weeks later, he
went through a growth spurt, exceeded the ladies in size, started to
crow regularly, and took the lead.
Next youngest in the
laying flock (and next lowest on the totem pole) were our three Cuckoo Marans pullets, around five and a
half months old. I was intrigued to see that as the rooster
surpassed them in size (but while he was still smaller than the other
hens), the Marans turned into his harem. Rather than changing his
affections when he struck it rich, our rooster still seems to prefer
roosting with the Marans, which has increased their value to the
flock. No longer do the Marans get chased away from the food by
those bossy Australorp hens, and the White Cochin (once queen of the
flock) now plays second fiddle.
Our chicken waterer gives the flock something to pick on rather than each other, so even our divided flock never looked tattered or bloody.
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