Yeah, I'm surprised they didn't stay by mom either. Little devils. I just got back from a dental check up and found our 3 week olds begging to be let out along with Mom so I let them out in their pen and they immediately ran for the dust bath hole and dove in. Not all that warm out today but they seem to be enjoying themselves.
Thanks for the terminology clarification cscarney. Saddle feathers are the ones that always confuse me. I always confuse them with Sickle feathers for some reason.
My chicks surprised me a couple of days ago when they were out with mom in their little pen. One of the roosters saw a small hawk fly across the yard and immediately let out with a deep warning growl that roosters make. Those chicks immediately stopped their sunning and dirt bathing and without urging from mom, jumped up and ran into the coop. They didn't run for mom, they headed for home and didn't come out until mom coaxed them to join her back outside.
So is response to the warning call inherent or learned? Mom sort of shuffled after them but they took their cue from one of their daddies.