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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sugarplumphoto, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. sugarplumphoto

    sugarplumphoto Hatching

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    May 31, 2010
    I have three chickens, Josie and Ruby came from the same breeder and Virginia from another. It seems, from what I observe that Josie has been somewhat left out of the pack. Virginia and Ruby don't necessarily pick on her but she seems afraid of them and runs away if they approach her, more specifically if Virginia comes near. Is this a natural pecking order type of thing or how do I know if she's been cast out?

    Am I reading into their behavior too much or should I be concerned? I want happy chickens and for them to all get along [​IMG]
     

  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Sometimes one is on the outs, but then in a month or so it could change and they all be bestest friends - or all fighting like kids [​IMG]

    Just like people, they all have their own personalities and changing relationships with each other.


    I think it is great you are so observant, knowing how your hens act in general and react to each other when they feel good – really helps detect when they are feeling poorly and you can help them sooner.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Are they the same breeds, or different? The fellow who got me started with poultry keeping advised me not to get a singleton of a particular breed. His experience was that the singletons always seemed lonelier and less happy than the chickens who could hang out with other birds of the same "feather."
     
  4. Since most of us have mutt chicks at some time or another I thought that chickens bred...and hung out...with any others in the flock with whom they built some sort of relationship and breed didn't matter much but I'm finding that not to be true.

    I moved to TN to have chickens...among other reasons...and wanted three. I now have 47 at last count and a hen sitting on eggs and a batch ready to go in the incubator. Chicken math strikes again. Anyway recently I started letting them run loose less and am confining them to pens because I want purebred eggs.

    I have 13 teenager chicks about three months old. They are now in one big pen all together...there are five from one hatch and eight from another hatch about two weeks younger. When they free ranged they did so in two groups and now in the pen they are still keeping apart. They are all the same size and I'm watching them closely while they establish pecking order...I don't want any bloodshed.

    The hen and her 11 babies free range by themselves and she runs anyone off that gets close to her and her babies but all the rest of the Old English (that is what she is) stay together when they range. The d'Uccle pair are always a few feet from one another, and the trio of Seabrights is the same. Where ever the rooster is of some breed then the hens of that breed will be close by. However I have some chicks that I know are eggs from the OE hens that have little feathered feet so the d'Uccle was friends with them at some point. This surprises me as he is a very docile and timid rooster.

    I've been working out there for the last week or so and have been observing them. If one Seabright heads for the big shed to dust bathe under it, then they all will. If the d'Uccle rooster's wife is not within his sight, he goes looking for her. She is never very far away...just around the corner but that does not keep him from getting frantic and running to find her.

    Anyway from what I've observed from mine they do hang with others of their kind, or hang with the others who hatched in the same clutch as they did.
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    May 23, 2009
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    I have 14 chicks in three "families" right now, d'Uccles, d'UccleSerama crosses, and OEGB/Serama crosses.

    The first clutch of six chicks just got kicked out by their hen, so I had them hanging out with my favorite hen (a d'Uccle cross) and her slightly younger chicks. She's very mellow, and was fine with the six newbies...until I put a piece of seeded bread into the run. She sorted the new chicks into two batches, the lighter colored ones that look like her own chicks were allowed to feed, while the darker reddish ones were chased away.

    Fascinating.
     

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