Chick instinct is amazing.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by greenchile, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. greenchile

    greenchile Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Albuquerque, NM
    I've got 5 chicks that are about 10 days old and I have to say that I am astonished at how instinct drives their behavior, despite never having a mother hen to show them how to behave.

    The first thing they started doing was digging for stuff. They don't get very far before they get to the bottom of the brooder. But they will all stand around, scratching through the bedding, get to the bottom, and then peck at little bits of wood.

    I'm starting to see some behavioral differences between the different chicks too, dominant, submissive, vocal, quiet. The chick that makes the most fuss when you try to hold her was just playing some sort of game with the others. She would pick up something in her beak, start peeping loudly and running all around the cage. Well the others were quite curious, following her around and trying to steal what she had in her beak. They're in a brooder with just water, chick feed and various sizes of aspen shavings. It's not like she's gone and found a big old roach or grasshopper that they want to steal from her and eat. But she sure is acting like she found one and is getting them to chase her around.

    Funny critters.
     
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  2. sacchick

    sacchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2014
    Sacramento,CA
    My Coop
    I agree my 4 are two and a half weeks old and every day it amazes me how instinct just kicks in. last week they started dust bathing, it was hysterical!!!
     
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  3. greenchile

    greenchile Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Albuquerque, NM
    Funny you mention the dust bathing. I noticed that yesterday, too. The aspen shavings have a fair amount of very small pieces (which the goofy critters eat too much of) But I've seen them "dust bathe" in the small particles and then watch the others come over and pick all the small bits off her back. I just wish they would stop filling the water dish with wood chips.
     
  4. SusanPC

    SusanPC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2014
    Southwest Florida
    I agree! Every day I go into work and tell my co-workers the amazing things my chicks are doing (they're probably sick of it by now). Dust bathing is my favorite thing to watch. I started giving them a tupperware of sand every few days and it is so entertaining (and messy!). We also put in a home-made perch against the side of the tote and one chick ran and jumped right up while others had to watch and figure it out. It didn't take long before they all tried it out up against each other. Amazing little creatures!
     
  5. sacchick

    sacchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2014
    Sacramento,CA
    My Coop
    Here's my set up

    [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Put the feed and water dishes up on a brick or chunk of lumber or something so the top edge of the dish is at the height of their backs.
     
  7. chickendadma

    chickendadma Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2014
    Virginia
    Tell me about it! I put a little jar-lid full of sand in the brooder for them to eat for grit, and one of my two-week olds tried to dust bath in the grit dish, despite it being about a fourth of the size of her tiny body. It was adorable! And of course, unsuccessful.

    That's when I decided to make a whole corner of the brooder into a soil/sandbox for dust bathing and grit both! They have ways of communicating with us what they need if we figure out how to listen :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
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  8. sacchick

    sacchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2014
    Sacramento,CA
    My Coop
    It is so enjoyable just watching them. I knew it would be fun but not this fun......I put a hunk of dirt with worms in it in the brooder, That was crazy time...Everyone slept well after that!!!
     
  9. greenchile

    greenchile Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Albuquerque, NM
    Excellent idea. I put a large, 6" thick landscaping block for making retaining walls in there. They figured out how to either drink directly from the ground or jump up onto the block. I'll be interested to see how it does now.
     
  10. greenchile

    greenchile Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Albuquerque, NM
    This is a really neat layout. How do the water bottles work? Do you turn the lids on just enough for drops of water to form but not dribble and empty themselves? I see little black bowls for catching the excess that drips.
     

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