Interesting chicken behaviors

lsonderling

In the Brooder
May 6, 2021
6
15
19
We have begun seeing some unusual behaviors in our teenage chickens. We have nine adult hens and three adult roosters plus 4 young and 8 teenage chicks. The teenagers are five Buckeyes age about 10 weeks, and three hatched here age about 9 weeks. The young ones are three also hatched here age about 5 weeks, and 1 other hatched here age about 4 weeks. We're seeing the following interesting behaviors:

1. Most of the chickens wait until we let them out in the morning to do their business. This seems unusually fastidious. Their coop and run are clean. One of the roosters sleeps in a separate cage
IMG-0452.jpg
because he's too rambunctious with the hens at night. He seems to like it because he comes in by himself in the evening when we call him and show him his food dish, and he also waits to go until we let him out in the morning. His name is Oscar and he is the engineer of the flock. He learned to climb that 8-foot step ladder by himself. He is a Buff Catalana.
2. Some of the teenagers like to take foot baths in the water tubs that we have for them outside. The water is several inches deep. We are having very hot weather right now.
3 The youngest one Little Frieda (4 weeks old) flew up by herself to a 7 foot high perch to sleep next to our huge Black Java rooster Jack (who is a gentle giant and loves the young ones; he often watches over them like a mother hen even though he is not the top rooster). How often do chicks fly like that at 4 weeks old? She is very bold and independent. How often do you see roosters take care of the young?

Has anyone seen their chickens develop habits like these? All our chickens, adults and kids, are very affectionate and like to be around us, and they all get along with each other. Here's a photo of Jack and Little Freida on their high perch. Little Frieda's mother is on the left. Little Frieda is a Dorking.
IMG_8973.JPG
When we call them for treats they all come running, and at night they all head into their coop by themselves, as you would expect.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,131
24,622
951
New Zealand
Our birds free range and the bantam hens who love to hatch babies have their little ones perching up in the trees from a very early age, probably as soon as they grow their wing feathers. It's so cute seeing the whole family sitting up there together and they can get really high. Our little bantam rooster is a sweetie and likes to help out with the babies too.

Even our hand raised bantam pullets love to climb the trees and they have recently started to lay - in the trees (the joys of free ranging). These are huge old trees and one is now sitting on eggs up there (it's still winter where I am I might add, though our climate is pretty mild)! The tree is on a sloping bank so I can't even get the ladder close enough to reach her. If she manages to hatch anything I don't know how she thinks she's getting them down.

It sounds like you have a very docile, sweet flock, especially when they are being so accepting of the newbies. Your teenagers sound like a smart bunch to have worked out how to keep cool too.

I wish ours were as clean and tidy as your birds. 🤣
 

lsonderling

In the Brooder
May 6, 2021
6
15
19
We're seeing some interesting behaviors lately.

Our engineer chicken Oscar (pictured in a post above) seems to understand verbal instructions. In the mornings he has a habit of pulling out hens from their nest boxes to mate. Today I saw him about to do that to Luna (our smallest hen, a Cubalaya) and I told him to leave her alone, and he did! He also seems to understand when I tell him in the evening not to bother the hens at roosting time. I always praise him when he behaves well.

Last evening one of our youngest roosters (Tuxedo, the youngest of our seven roosters) was apparently searching for his girl friend in the back yard where they like to hang out, but she was already in the coop. I told him where she was and that he should follow me, and he did!

We have four Barnevelder hens, one of whom (Puck) was born with a severe cross beak: her lower beak is deformed all the way to the right, but her upper beak is normal. As a result we have to feed her a special diet that she can eat with her tongue. I have read a lot about caring for cross beak chickens and most people seem to think that they should be isolated from the rest of the flock. We did not do this, and it turned out that not only was Puck not picked on by any of the others, but she is now as big as her sisters, no longer at the bottom of the pecking order, and aside from what she can't do with her beak, is as much an adult chicken as all the others. She is smart, friendly, has begun laying, is strong and healthy, and has even learned to pick up a little bit of food from the regular food bowls. She also keeps her upper beak trimmed just like all the others do. A real success story!

I'd love to hear from others about their adventures with their unusually intelligent and persistent chooks.
 

lsonderling

In the Brooder
May 6, 2021
6
15
19
We have begun seeing some unusual behaviors in our teenage chickens. We have nine adult hens and three adult roosters plus 4 young and 8 teenage chicks. The teenagers are five Buckeyes age about 10 weeks, and three hatched here age about 9 weeks. The young ones are three also hatched here age about 5 weeks, and 1 other hatched here age about 4 weeks. We're seeing the following interesting behaviors:

1. Most of the chickens wait until we let them out in the morning to do their business. This seems unusually fastidious. Their coop and run are clean. One of the roosters sleeps in a separate cage View attachment 2783558 because he's too rambunctious with the hens at night. He seems to like it because he comes in by himself in the evening when we call him and show him his food dish, and he also waits to go until we let him out in the morning. His name is Oscar and he is the engineer of the flock. He learned to climb that 8-foot step ladder by himself. He is a Buff Catalana.
2. Some of the teenagers like to take foot baths in the water tubs that we have for them outside. The water is several inches deep. We are having very hot weather right now.
3 The youngest one Little Frieda (4 weeks old) flew up by herself to a 7 foot high perch to sleep next to our huge Black Java rooster Jack (who is a gentle giant and loves the young ones; he often watches over them like a mother hen even though he is not the top rooster). How often do chicks fly like that at 4 weeks old? She is very bold and independent. How often do you see roosters take care of the young?

Has anyone seen their chickens develop habits like these? All our chickens, adults and kids, are very affectionate and like to be around us, and they all get along with each other. Here's a photo of Jack and Little Freida on their high perch. Little Frieda's mother is on the left. Little Frieda is a Dorking. View attachment 2783537 When we call them for treats they all come running, and at night they all head into their coop by themselves, as you would expect.
Turns out that Little Frieda is now Freddy, a very handsome rooster, as are his siblings Andy and Tuxedo. We thought at first that they were all female!
 

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