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Author Topic: are hens racist ?  (Read 3136 times)

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
are hens racist ?
« on: December 28, 2023, 10:46:44 am »
New cockeral arrives to the flock of Derbyshire Redcaps and 2 orange hybrids

He spends most of his time with the hybrids

Had something similar with the sheep; one year one ewe threw a lamb which was piebald, presumably from some jacob genes, a few generations ago. The whole flock was amazed and appalled, apart from it's mother, of course.
They eventually accepted it but it took a while

I wonder what the reason for this behaviour is

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2023, 11:43:14 am »
I think it's a bit more complicated than that @Bywaters. The Redcaps will have their own hierarchy and the hybrids will be outside of that- bottom of the pecking order I suspect. The cockerel hasn't been accepted by the Redcaps (hens chose their cockerel) but has been accepted by the hybrids.


Chickens are feather colour sensitive, because in a mixed flock similar colour hens will pair up. So I suppose in that sense they are racist?

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2023, 12:54:13 pm »
The Redcaps will have their own hierarchy and the hybrids will be outside of that- bottom of the pecking order I suspect. The cockerel hasn't been accepted by the Redcaps (hens chose their cockerel) but has been accepted by the hybrids.

That sounds like a pretty good description of racism to me!




Yes, IME birds of the same type do tend to hang out together. Same with sheep.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2023, 05:12:50 pm »
"Birds of a feather stay together" as they say
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2023, 08:19:21 am »
Agree with all the above.

What's happened to the Like option by the way??

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2023, 10:37:26 am »
"Birds of a feather stay together" as they say

But that isn't the case here, the redcap cock keeps more company with the orange hydrids than the redcap hens

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2023, 01:40:34 pm »
Are the hybrids in lay or POL? And I'm guessing the redcaps aren't? Cockerels won't be interested in anything off lay for obvious reasons!

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2023, 02:04:38 pm »
that's a good point
picked up 2 brown (hybrid) and one white egg this morning

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2023, 02:25:33 pm »
I don't think it's racist in the human meaning of the word, more what they are used to.


Our Hebridean sheep were horrified one year when they realised they were expected to mate with a Texel tup.  Most came round again but finally gave in.  Our neighbour keeps Texels (so ugly, poor things) just through the fence, so I suppose that knocks my theory on the head.
But, one ewe was perfectly happy and she was the one who had fostered a Texel lamb the year before.
Previously, my flock had accepted a Texel ewe who joined them to foster a pair of Jacob twins whose dam had died.
So nothing definitive really, just a bit picky.
My hens just mix willynilly.  They accepted a white cock last year (hens are mostly brown or black) with no issues
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2024, 12:54:51 pm »
Horrified is exactly what my Whitefaced woodlands were when one produced a piebald lamb (throw back to some jacob I guess)  but, as you say, they learned to live with her

I reckon that the rouge d'ouest is the ugliest of sheep breeds, but the dutch ones (texel etc) take some beating !!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2024, 10:48:57 pm »
Actually Beltex are the very very ugliest   :yuck:  but round here some of the commercial boys truly love them  :hugsheep:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: are hens racist ?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2024, 08:29:36 am »
Yes it's the same round here. A lot of farmers seem to love them - why ????? They may grow fast and make good weights but the meat is bland, they are pig ugly and apparently rubbish at lambing and mothering.

When we decided to start keeping sheep (and breeding from them) I went to watch a local farmer lamb his Texels. I was quite taken aback when it was apparent he needed to help nearly all the ewes, they had almost zero interest in the lambs once delivered and just lay there in the barn like beached whales giving the lambs a desultory lick or two at best.

 

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