Originally Posted by azygous
In all my eight years of raising chickens, I've never seen a baby chick tid-bit when given a treat. They usually gobble it fast before the others can get it.
Yesterday, I opened up the chick-sized portals in all of the partitions in my run so my three chicks, three-weeks old tomorrow, can begin the integration process by mingling with the adults. They quickly became adept at zipping around the run at warp speed, ducking through a portal when they need to evade a pursuing bully.
Today, I noticed Peppermint, my one Gold Cuckoo Marans baby, was spending a great deal of time just loafing with the adults, and they were very accepting, making no aggressive moves toward her. The other two babies, both Cream Legbars, kept together, and while they ventured out into the run a lot from their safe pen, didn't spend quite as much time hanging out with the adults as Pepper did.
Then at bedtime, I gathered them back into their chick pen and gave them some meal worms. After eating a few worms, Pepper grabbed another one from my hand and ran off a little ways and began dropping the worm and picking it back up again, all the while tid-bitting, looking around and chattering rapidly exactly like an adult ranking chicken will do when they find something good and want to alert the others to it.
She repeated the behavior a minute later with another worm. The other two chicks either ignored Pepper or didn't understand what she was doing.
I'm wondering if Pepper, in spending so much time hanging with the adults, picked up this behavior. Or maybe this is normal behavior for baby chicks, too. But I've sure never seen this before.