Fascinating behaviour playing out! And question about crests in newborns?

Lazygaze

Songster
Dec 3, 2020
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Hello! I’m a very happy, first time chicken mama to 3 in London, UK. I’m just watching some fascinating (possibly imagined by me?! 😂) behaviour playing out. My two black chicks hatched 2 days ago and my yellow one yesterday afternoon. One black is rounder - let’s call her Round and the other is skinnier- let’s call that one Skinny just for the purpose of this post! I kept Yellow in the incubator in her own to dry out as long as I could but she was crying out and seems really strong (though she does have one foot that turns in slightly). So my black chicks are buddies (born within 5seconds of each other) and Yellow has just been introduced. Skinny immediately went over all feisty and pecked at Yellow but amazingly Round straight away got in between Yellow and Skinny (who is feisty and can be a bit of a bully) forming a fluffy barrier! Now Yellow tried to get underneath Round which kinda breaks my heart as they’re basically the same tiny size....

I’d love your wisdom and experience on this one- am I imagining? If not this is incredible instinct on the behalf of Round. Wow, chickens are amazing!!

Side note- Skinny and Yellow both have tiny crests. Round seems a different rounder shape(though hello may fluff out more today I know). Can I work out their genders based on this and the above maternal behaviour?!

Thank you! I love this forum so much:):frow

ps - can you use crushed eggshells as grit when they start eating bugs? X
 

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LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,331
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Germany
Congratulations on your cute chicks! :love

Please do not let them live on newspaper as this is very slippery and could lead to spraddled legs. For the first few days until they learned what the feed is, it is best to have a terry cloth as bedding as this will help them to adjust their legs and toes.

Show them how to eat by repeatedly tapping the crumbles with your fingertip until they come to pick and eat. The same goes for the water: repeatedly tap with your finger until they follow the motion and start to drink.

ps - can you use crushed eggshells as grit when they start eating bugs? X

No, they need chick grit (little pieces of granite) or sand for proper digestion if you feed anything other than starter crumble.
 
Last edited:

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,331
27,020
932
Germany
Yellow tried to get underneath Round which kinda breaks my heart as they’re basically the same tiny size..
A natural behaviour as the chicks will seek shelter and warmth under the mother hen and in her absence try to crawl under whoever stands nearby.

You could provide a small stuffed toy as resting place and retreat for those that need to get out of the way. Chicks usually love to crawl on top or under it to sleep.
 

SulkyBantam

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Nov 3, 2020
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:welcome
Hi @Lazygaze!

Your chicks are adorable!

I agree with @LaFleche though.... straw / shavings is better than newspaper, which will make Yellow's twisty foot worse.

Try to spend time with them and be a good mamma hen, giving them snuggle time.
They are crawling under each other, because they want a mamma.
 

Lazygaze

Songster
Dec 3, 2020
187
149
111
:welcome
Hi @Lazygaze!

Your chicks are adorable!

I agree with @LaFleche though.... straw / shavings is better than newspaper, which will make Yellow's twisty foot worse.

Try to spend time with them and be a good mamma hen, giving them snuggle time.
They are crawling under each other, because they want a mamma.

Thank you! I’m totally in love 😍

I totally agree re newspaper. Just to the side of shot you can see I have some black rubber matting but yellow keeps coming off it and going on the newspaper :-/ also out of shot I’ve used a terry face cloth. I’m going to have a rearrange today, add an old towel (I have a few small ones so I can rotate and make sure to keep them clean), I was trying to provide different interesting floors for them to practise on - the two black ones have the strongest little legs I’ve ever seen!- but to be honest Yellow was a total SURPRISE addition yesterday- she was quite overdue and in with a couple of other eggs which I think are unviable. I couldn’t believe it when I saw her egg wiggle!!:love
I am trying to give them mama love but I’m also worried about overhandling? Obviously I know to be extremely gentle but firm so they feel safe etc.. I don’t want to scare them though...
 

Lazygaze

Songster
Dec 3, 2020
187
149
111
A natural behaviour as the chicks will seek shelter and warmth under the mother hen and in her absence try to crawl under whoever stands nearby.

You could provide a small stuffed toy as resting place and retreat for those that need to get out of the way. Chicks usually love to crawl on top or under it to sleep.
😍 ok I will, thank you!
 

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
Nov 3, 2020
3,147
12,077
606
The Emerald Isle
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you! I’m totally in love 😍

I totally agree re newspaper. Just to the side of shot you can see I have some black rubber matting but yellow keeps coming off it and going on the newspaper :-/ also out of shot I’ve used a terry face cloth. I’m going to have a rearrange today, add an old towel (I have a few small ones so I can rotate and make sure to keep them clean), I was trying to provide different interesting floors for them to practise on - the two black ones have the strongest little legs I’ve ever seen!- but to be honest Yellow was a total SURPRISE addition yesterday- she was quite overdue and in with a couple of other eggs which I think are unviable. I couldn’t believe it when I saw her egg wiggle!!:love
I am trying to give them mama love but I’m also worried about overhandling? Obviously I know to be extremely gentle but firm so they feel safe etc.. I don’t want to scare them though...

Were you the first thing thing they saw?
 

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