Drives of Chickens


In all living beings there are certain motivators or drives and I want to share with you what these are and how they affect you and your chickens. I have sorted them into some different groups based on what they affect. I will note that different breeds have been bred to have different levels of each drive and different genders have different levels of each drive. Also different parts of each drive may show up with out some of the others. So here they are folks:

Group 1 Self preservation:

Eat- This Drives is one of the most basic. It tells chickens if they are hungry or thirsty and instructs your chickens how to get these resources. It may tell a chicken to wander if they can't find water or it might tell a chicken to forage if they are hungry. This also lets a chicken now its favorite foods and effects a birds foraging capability. Bugs vs grain, Pellets vs grass This affects you in a quite obvious way: Give your chickens food and water.

Prey- This drive is what protects chickens as a prey animal. This drive shoes up in the flightiness of a bird. This can be affected both by breed and how the chicken was raised. This drive helps determine pecking order. This drive becomes important because it is one major drive that effects the friendliness of a chicken. It can be hard to balance this drive to get a bird that is friendly to humans and yet still knows to run when a hawk drops out of the sky.

Curiosity- This is the drive that tells the chicken what to do with a new thing or tells a chicken to explore. It is another drive that determines friendliness in a chicken. The ideal for this drive changes in different conditions. This drive also effects the foraging capability of a chicken.

Group 2 Preservation of species:
Mating drive-
This drive can be split into two parts because it effects hens and roosters differently.
Mating drive in Roosters- In roosters the mating drive tells them to crow and to mate. It can also effect the aggression of the rooster. This drive is difficult to handle and can be the root of many problems that roosters have.
Mating drive in Hens- In hens the mating drive will tell them to lay eggs, go broody and mate. This drive has many desirable traits and some not so desirable so like many others we have to carefully balance it.

The flock drive is what powers chickens not only to stay together as a flock but also determines the pecking order with prey. Birds that are more submissive will be lower on the pecking order and birds that are more commandeering are higher in the pecking order.

Thank you for reading.
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