Interesting observation about my free range flock

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by gritsar, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Over the course of a year and a half of free-ranging I've noticed some things about the habits of my birds.
    They have a set schedule on their free ranging course. When I first let them out, they check first in the their yard for snacks, then head immediately to the area below our kitchen window - looking for bugs that have gathered there (drawn to the kitchen light) overnight.
    They head from there to the woods behind their coop. This happens to coincide with a time that I've heard hawks and other aerial predators are most likely to be actively searching for food (10 to 11 AM).
    They stay in the woods for a few hours, then head out front of the house to the gravel driveway. After that it's back to the woods (3 to 4 PM, another hawk feeding time I'm told).
    After that they make a quick moving search of the garden as they head to the large pasture beyond it (5 PM).
    After an hour or so spent on the pastures, they head back in the direction of the coop to hang out around and under the fig trees until roost time.
    So today, for the first time EVER, I kept the chickens locked in their coop most of the day. It's rainy and cold and most of them are still molting.
    When I let them out at 5 PM, they didn't check for treats in the chicken yard and they didn't head for the kitchen window. They headed directly for their 5 o'clock location, the large pasture.
    Every day I own these birds they amaze me with their instincts.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Very interesting observation!
     
  3. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've noticed somewhat similar behavior in mine. I work 8-3 and let my birds out when I roll in the driveway every night. They know it's going to happen. They'll run over and crowd the door as soon as they see the van roll in.

    They also follow kind of routine, not all, but most. They will run out and check the spot I usually throw a scoop of corn. Then they run over to the leaf/brush/humus pile and scratch around a minute. Then they'll spread out and everybody will go where they please.
     

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