Is friendliness a learnt behaviour? Will a friendly hen have more chance of friendly chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by appps, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    About to attempt our first broody hatching of bought eggs and am wondering if there is any benefit (I'm in no rush) in waiting for our super friendly hen to go broody over just using whoever goes broody first.

    The chicks will be pets first and egg suppliers second so it's an important trait for us.

    Just thinking they may learn to have no fear of us from mum who has none herself.
     
  2. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    I think a friendlier mom will help. Mine get friendlier with each hatch, I think it's because they get more and more used to me each generation. Its like " hey moms close to her must be safe". Thats what I think any way.
     
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah that's pretty much what I was thinking could happen.

    Im torn between waiting for my sort of top dog chicken who I trip over she is so under your feet or just using my silkie who is able to be picked up when you catch her but isnt a great fan of itthat is broody now.

    The silkie is also bottom of the pecking order so not sure if that will also affect how safe the chicks are from the rest of the flock when they are with her.
     
  4. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    If she's the only small hen I'd put her in her own space. My little bantam is the lowest in the order and the only small hen, when she went broody I moved her and the eggs just to be safe. Moved her back to the flock once the baby was bigger ( only one hatched) but kept them separated for a few weeks. Worked well for me, the baby ( full grown now ) is my friendliest girl, her baby ( only one again ) was even friendlier, but I lost her recently.... Live and learn. Long winded sorry.
    Any way the original mommy the bantam isn't super friendly but like you said easy to handle. Either way I guess is what I'm saying.
     
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    How were the others when you reintroduced her? I worry seperating her she will get even more picked on when I put her back with the new chicks.

    My seperation area is right in the main coop though so it would seperate but in sight.
     
  6. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    First they where in my house, then separated in the coop. They didn't seem to treat her differently upon return to open access to the coop, and the bantams chick is high in the pecking order now and even protects her mom ( the chick is not a bantam, she's a EE )
     
  7. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmmm now that is a benefit I hadnt thought of, the mum having someone to protect her. Our poor silkie gets rather hen pecked when she is clucky and ignored totally the rest of the time. Wish we had gotten two silkies but you learn as you go dont you.
     
  8. losttexan

    losttexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My experience has been the flock will accept a mom back after "maternity leave" with much less problems if they can see/hear her during the incubation. I have also seen the smallest, lowest hen in the pecking order become the fiercest, most protective T-Rex once she has chicks. If the flock has been raised up with each other, or together for a good long time, they will *usually* be respectful of the member's chicks. I say usually - there are as many different experiences as there are chicken owners, but keeping her around as opposed to the house/garage does seem to make a difference.
     
  9. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    Yeah it's great having a friend or two to take care of the little odd ball once their grown that is. I did lose a 4 week old chick to my flock recently, the bantams daughter wasn't quite as protective (though a full size bird )as her mom. Just use your best judgment when you let them all together again, I sure miss judged my birds. :( poor chick
     

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