For the Birds

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RedDrgn, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Our chickens (15.5 weeks old) only get free range time when my DH or I are home, so they spend most week days confined to their run. When they are out, they range throughout the yard (and actually keep within the borders very well, 99% of the time). In one portion of our yard, which they cannot see/watch when they are in their run, we keep several wild bird feeders stocked and always have feathered visitors.

    Now, the chickens never really cared about the wild birds. Paid them little to no attention at all unless it was large and overhead (e.g. hawks, crows, ravens, and vultures...also airplanes/jets [​IMG]), in which case one sounds the alarm and they all bolt for the nearest cover. Within the past month, though, our BR (who we think might be the alpha, though its very hard to tell with our flock...they're all highly neutral with each other) has taken an interest in wild birds. When they're out roaming within 50 feet or so of the feeders, she'll often watch the birds at the feeder. If she's within 15 feet or so and a wild bird lands on the ground, she started charging them! One time she charged, and instead of taking flight like they usually do, the sparrow ran around her and towards the deck. Our DOM was apparently watching to and when the bird headed for the deck, she headed under it to cut it off! The BR was right behind the sparrow and my DH and I were like, "OH $H!T!" Then the sparrow came flying out, unharmed, and was gone...but our DOM and BR were on foot close behind. [​IMG]

    That incident was the ONLY time anyone other than the BR did anything, and as I said, the BR only started this about a month ago. We're assuming is a "defend territory" thing, and it is kind of funny, but is this usual? Has anyone else had this happen? We're surprised they even consider this portion of the yard theirs since they don't get up there often...how big a territory does a chicken think it has? [​IMG]
     
  2. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine chase birds too. There were 3 cardinal nests in their run over the summer, I think the cardinals felt safe there because my girls chased most of the other birds away?
     
  3. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tishomingo
    I haven't seen it myself in my flock, but I've read posts here on BYC about ppl's chickens eating birds! And as far chicken's territory? I think they believe the whole world is theirs, lol. "If I see it, it's mine!" lol
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Ours seem to home in on cardinals, particularly, but I'm guessing that's because they're red and make good targets. [​IMG]

    Ah, so chickens are like feathered cats - if they see it, it's theirs to do with as they please. [​IMG]
     
  5. ryan820

    ryan820 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2010
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    My flock does something similar but to land dwellers. The lead chick, Rosamond (who I really like but she's such a mean SOB to the other birds) will promptly attack any rabbit or squirrel that comes within eye sight of her. But whenever we have a large bird or plane fly over, there is no sounding an alarm, they all just go running with sustained screams. It sounds horrible and is an incredible over reaction, but these are my chickens... They are awesome! Lol
     
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Whoa! I wish mine attacked squirrels! darn tree rats chew apart my bird feeders and don't understand that the bird feeders are BIRD feeders and not SQUIRREL feeders. [​IMG] That has to be hilarious to watch, though. [​IMG]
     

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