Our Buff Orpingtons turned 16 weeks old on Wednesday of this week, and our Rhode Island Reds 15 weeks on Monday. And the alpha cockerel of the former (Oscar) had a stare down with the alpha cockerel of the latter (Don) today. And it was the older, bigger Oscar that "blinked."
Both cockerels have been crowing for a while, Oscar began almost a month ago and Don started last Monday. They are both attempting to mate with their hens, and both have thorougly intimidated the other cockerels in their respective pens, which are adjacent to each other.
Of all these momentous events in the life of a young rooster, the stare down today was the most fascinating. Oscar started the skirmish by walking briskly back and forth along the wire separating the pens. Don rushed over, puffed himself up, and gave Oscar the evil eye. Both males locked in their stares for long seconds until Oscar retreated.
Size usually matters in the world of roosters, but Don, for now, is not only the cock of the heap in the pens but also lord of the backyard.