Chicks playing... with wood chips?


8 Years
Aug 25, 2011
I have 4 roughly 2 week old chicks, two chipmunk EEs, and two BOs. They are living in a small animal cage (probably have to move to a larger cage soon, I swear they got larger overnight!) and seem to be adjusting well. A couple of times, I've noticed the EEs playing what looks like keep-away with a wood chip. They'll sprint around the cage carrying it in their beaks, and seem to be looking for someone to chase them. Is playfulness normal for chicks? Is it breed-related? Newbie to chicken-keeping, trying to figure out what to expect.



8 Years
Jul 26, 2011
Somers NY
From what I understand that is normal chicken behavior during feeding. If one chicken finds a yummy morsel, they will run with it (to hide it from the others) which actually gets the other's attention....leading to the chase. The chaser will try to get the morsel by grabbing it away, thus ripping the larger morsel into a more manageable size. It is really funny to watch...

Hummingbird Hollow

8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
Colorado mountains
They can be so very silly that way. I've caught a grasshopper and offered it through the wire of the chicken run. One of my pullets will come over and grab it and then take off running with this excited "I've won!" sound and the others will chase her all over the place. If she just quietly took the bug and ate it, probably no one would notice but once she starts running, the others give chase. I've never seen chicks do it with wood chips, but I've heard of folks tossing a inch long piece of plastic drinking straw or a little fluffy pom-pom for a game of chick "football". Enjoy!


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 5, 2012
Haha cute. When I first got my chicks, they somehow found a piece of styrofoam that was in the box I am using for a brooder, and they did the same would pick it up and run with it, and the others would chirp loudly and chase the one that had it. I took the styrofoam away from them, worried that they would eat it...but then I gave them small folded up coloured pieces of cardboard (from granola bar boxes), and they played the same funny and cute to watch!


8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
It is, it's very cute. We had ducklings when the first group of chickens were growing up - we kept the ducks in a small styrofoam box when they were still tiny, and after they moved out the chickens literally ate it. Bit by bit. It was so weird! We'd sometimes see them running around the garden chasing each other with bits of the styrofoam.

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