Do you think we "over-think" chicken behavior???


10 Years
May 15, 2009
Shenandoah Valley
I have just started my flock, about a month ago and I find myself constantly worrying about every little noise they make, thing they do, are the okay?? I guess it is because I don't know much about them, but really, won't they "do their thing" if we just leave well enough alone?? I know (and I have had as part of my motto with raising chickens) that there will be casualties, but we just learn from our mistakes to make things better. I am just trying to not worry so much...hope this makes sense! I read one story out there about a chicken with a lump on their chest and after talking to miscellaneous people one man just said, if she is laying and eating, and doing her thing, let it be! Laying is a sign of a happy chicken...and I really think that means something, they self regulate to a point...

Oh well, just thought I would plant this out there. I don't want to be the over protective chicken parent...hahah!

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Worry worry worry. You worry when you hear them peep. You worry when you don't hear them peep. Then when you are finally relaxed with them and realize "yes everything is going to be ok", the racoon boogie monster saunters by and lears at you through the glass door. At least that's been my experience.
I think worrying is a sure sign of a great parent
The first thing I do when I wake up is peek out the back door to make sure the horses, goats, alpacas, and OF COURSE the chickies are all good to go for another day!... Then again, I know more than one person who would tell you I'm a little looney
Yeah well
I have found in my chicken experience (the last year or so) that over thinking things can cause more problems than they are worth. Yes you should check on them, feed them, but,..let them be chickens. There will be casualities on occasion, but isnt that true with everything? My biggest peeve is when you start out (chicken keeping)you want to learn so much and you listen to many different sources and you read a lot of books,etc.,...then you find out half of it was just bull hockey. What works for one person sure isnt going to work for everyone. My thoughts now,..relax and enjoy them!
I think it's pretty normal for anyone that considers their chickens to be pets to worry and fret over them. As you spend time with your flock and learn their particular personalities and quirks, it does get a little easier to not worry about every noise they make, because you figure out it's just "them". You also learn what is not normal and when you really should get a little concerned about a particular behavior. Being in tune with your flock really does help to recognize issues within it quickly. I'm an over-protective chicken mommy for sure - but I can tell within minutes when something is just not right with one of my chickens.

The one thing I've learned is that you can read every book and every post on BYC - and your chickens will manage to do something you've never heard of before! Keeps things interesting!

Sounds like the same as child raising!

Amen to that--it's why I completely quit reading parenting books. Too anxiety-provoking.

I have a friend who is fairly new to chicken keeping (several, actually) and she was fretting about getting rid of extra roos and moving her girls around to make room for the broody hen & new chicks. I took her extra roos off her hands and advised her to just rearrange everybody while they were roosting to where she wanted them, and they'd adjust. I kept to myself the thoughts of "hon, you are worrying about this WAY too much....just do it!)
Do you think we "over-think" chicken behavior???
Without a doubt.

Primarily we assume that chickens respond to things the way that humans do. We assign human response and attrubutes to them, what I call "Bambi-fication," which allows us to analyze them in ways we can relate to.

We then seem surprised when they dont meet our expectations or do something we cannot associate with our own experience.

In other words, yes.
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