Chaos and Mayhem, followed by Peace and Contentment in the brooder...


11 Years
Feb 6, 2010
Orange County
Well I guess it could be the beginings of establishing their pecking order,
or they are just starting to figure out what their wings are for.

Last night, and today, my almost 4 week old chicks are calm, content, and happy to snuggle together during nap time, but when when they awake to eat or just wander around the brooder, it seems like a 3 ring circus in there!

The 2 Araucanas (Madonna, and Sharonna),seem to be the most dominant, and have taken to jumping and trying to fly inside the brooder. of coarse they only make it to the top mesh and bounce off of it, back down to the floor.
(The brooder box is 4' x 2' x 16" tall. )

The Buff Orp, (Goldie), seems to be the next one down the totem pole, and between the 3 of them, they will face off to each other, stomp their feet, flap their wings, slap each other around for a second,....... Then they will all lay downtogether in a little snuggle ball, and take another nap!

The RIR , (Ruby), will get involved if she is cornered or forced to, but generally she will just stand back and stay out of the way.

The Australorps, (Which is a fair bit larger than all the other chicks, hence the name Helga ), (I wanted to name her "Lurch" but was out voted), just sits back and watches. Occaisionally, Madonna will run across the brooder and body slam Helga, like she's in the WWF !
Helga dosent react too much to it, and basically just shrugs it off. Even when the little brat ,Modonna, just keeps doing it.

The BPR, (Misty), is the smallest of them all, and for the most part just stays out of the way. Misty is not timid mind you, she just seems to look at Madonna and Sharonna with that "What the heck has got you all fired up?" look.
but if Madonna keps pushing the issue, Misty will not take it for long, and gives a little back to "BRATdonna", and her counterpart "BRATronna".

As I am sitting here typing this, apparently nappy time has just ended for a while, (where EVERYONE was just snuggled up together, and calm as could be), and now, both of the BRATS are just goin nuts! They are bouncing off the walls, the top, the feeder, the waterer, EVERYTHING!
Madonnajust seems to totally SPAZ-Out !, she will run up to peck anothers feet, push them off of the little raised platform, Jump on top of two sleeping chicks, ..then juat calms down and wants to snuggle into the middle of a huddle again!

Actually I have another word, other than BRAT, to describe her, but I'm pretty sure it would not be an acceptable word here,...

It's not like it's War in there, or anything like that, it's just that both the Araucana's just seem to want to stir up the peace.

In 10 more minutes, eveyone will be huddled together, and counting sheep again.

what gives with this behavior?
any thoughts?
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9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
Boulder, Colorado
My 4-week-olds are doing the exact same thing. Certain ones are definitely more dominant and certain ones couldn't care less about playing the game. I have 8 and 4 of them are very eager to come out and see what's going on when I open the door to their dog crate brooder. The other 4 keep eating or napping or whatever they were doing and don't ever come up to me. They all have distinct personalities, and it seems to be based somewhat on breed. Very interesting!


11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
Olympia WA
At four weeks they could start going outside during the day. I had a 6 by 8 run for my babies, and loaded them up in a crate everyday to take them outside. They loved it! At night they would get loaded back up into the crate, and back in the brooder. Try rigging up a tractor or something for them.

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