CHICKS AND STRANGE BEHAVIOR

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CollegeChicken, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. CollegeChicken

    CollegeChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    143
    14
    73
    Jun 3, 2014
    As many of you know I love to have a mixed flock with as many different breeds as possible...one of my batches of chicks is approaching the 7 week mark...this batch consisted of 3 Cochins and 3 Jersey Giants...one of the Jerseys turned out to be a little cockerel.....As the Jerseys got older they became more frantic and skittish and panic at the slightest stimulus. Prior to them adopting these new behaviors the chickens of this batch were becoming so friendly..the cochins were so docile and just big fluffs of happiness..... but they quickly became terrified and skittish once they started to follow the crazy cockerels lead, he also started to become EXTREMELY aggressive especially considering his age...I had never had jersey giants before and they originally were meant for a friends farm anyway so..two days ago I found a great home for the Jersey Giants...things have already started to calm down sllightly and I hope the personality of the cochins hasnt been permanently damaged.
    I recently read an article here that spoke AGAINST free freeding... with small flocks like mine ( about 8 birds each of the two coops ) Ive been making them a big breakfast every morning, the last few days since the jerseys have been gone..breakfast is : four hard boiled eggs, chick starter, and dry oatmeal all mixed together...chickens seem thrilled with it and they get a nice amount so theres always a few crumbles left in the dish ( theres always free choice oyster shell out for the laying hens) by late morning its out to free range for 4-6 hours on two acres and lastly: treats (pigeon seed ) at evening time which is usually when I go relax and hang out with them..the cochins are just starting to eat out of my hand again......is there anything else I can do to bring my docile flock back to their old ways...I have very friendly breeds, silkies ( two white, one buff one blue ) , brahmas ( two light) , cochins ( one silver laced, one white, one red ) , barred rocks (1 pullet ) , millie fleurs (2 hens), an australorp hen who is like a lap dog, and a speckled japanese bantam and a white sultan.
     
  2. kittydoc

    kittydoc Chillin' With My Peeps

    708
    406
    201
    Apr 18, 2012
    Near Indianapolis
    Keep up the treats/hand feeding, and things should go back to normal. We also had Jersey Giants, 3 females. We found them too docile/nervous for a mixed flock, and will never have them again. They were huge, but afraid of their own shadows except for one. Of about 20 birds total, we had to bring in the two low-ranking Jerseys inside our garage ALL WINTER to avoid their death from exposure to the cold. The other hens would not let them stay in the heated henhouse. I rescued one that literally would have died within the hour without warming (found her cold and motionless on the coop floor), and the other one was about half dead when I found her, also on the coop floor. I would up doing nighttime checks on the really bitter cold nights, but once the Jerseys were gone, no others were forced out. One of the Jerseys turned into an egg-eater this spring and wound up at Camp Amana, and the other one will be processed as soon as it turns cold this year because I don't want to go through this again, and I don't think the bird would, either. She is very picked on, and I feel sorry for her, but she is a great layer and a sweet bird. If she didn't wear a chicken saddle, she would probably be featherless.
     
  3. CollegeChicken

    CollegeChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    143
    14
    73
    Jun 3, 2014
    never ran into you here before! I also am a dvm (Ross) ... It was interesting to hear that you had a similiar experience with the personalities of your Jerseys.....the hens were adorable but everything you said was 100% accurate in regards to their behavior
     
  4. kittydoc

    kittydoc Chillin' With My Peeps

    708
    406
    201
    Apr 18, 2012
    Near Indianapolis
    @CollegeChicken Nice to meet you! I went to Illinois. A friend went to Ross medical school.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by