Hand Raised Chickens Moved Around a Lot

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I am hand-rearing a couple cockerels that were isolated from flock owing to health reasons a couple weeks or more ago. Health was restored very quickly, but we found reasons not to repatriate into source flocks. Chicks now either free-range near house or go on road with me. At home they spend day with three dogs also kept free-range. With me on road they spend most of day in a 5-gallon bucket except for an hour in morning and 1.5 hours in evening. Some days they are out all day in a very public setting around lots of people. The cockerels keep tabs on me and we talk a lot to stay together. Fun stuff involves the amount of walking we do when in the road. The time outside the bucket means walking about a city park where we get lots of insects. We are routinely walking 300 yards each way from bucket. Bucket is left hidden in bushes as we go walking. We are acting like a group of wild chickens and the cockerels are getting into the act very well.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Happy Father's day. :lol:
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Caring as is for kids interest. Kids in Montana for 2 weeks so I am doing my part being a kid again caring for their pets.

    The young birds are doing what could be described as slinking. They move about with tail horizontal making vocalizations that can be heard only from close range. We move quickly from cover patch to cover patch minimizing time in open. We are near the Lambert Airport with aircraft coming and going almost constantly. The juvenile chickens sprint for cover when the planes fly over. We are also finding where the quality forage patches are located. Ridges with sharp transitions between short and medium vegetation best. Lots of crickets and hairless caterpillars abundant in those locations.

    When scared they have no problem running 100 yards to cover but can be called back once they calm down. They are learning that when we go down steeper grades that they can fly down slope with minimal effort once air born. They look like sky jumpers as they glide down a hill. They are capable of sustained runs over level ground and up hill and even run ahead of me at times but stop dead in tracks when I do.
     
    Willowspirit, sourland and Shadrach like this.
  4. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    I'm surprised the cockerels don't tell you to go and hide in another bush because you're giving their position away.:lol:
     
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  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    So far they may be confused about my role. I stand in open most of time and do not eat. I also spend all of time looking around. Expecting to see a fox or hawk lurking in park.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Today both birds spent time at lab where they occupied a group of kids coming in for a tour. The juvenile chicken provided a lot of entertainment as they inspected everyone for eats before finding, chasing, taking down and consuming a frog. Later the kids and I collected a range of insects and presented them to the young chickens. The chickens quickly demonstrated some insects they like very well and other are to be avoided. There was a pattern in how the insects looked.
     
    aart likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Great Stuff.
    How old are these birds?
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    7 and 6 weeks. We are in pasture waiting for a group of 30 kids right now. Birds will escort us from bass grow out ponds to indoor fish hatchery / finishing facility.
     
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  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Hawks galore out here
     

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