Is it possible food effects a chicken's mood?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Wig, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Wig

    Wig Hatching

    Jul 9, 2008
    Keep in mind my chickens have been together for about 2 months now, have 2 hours to free range a day, and are between 10 and 14 months old.

    For example, when I feed my chickens hamburger bits, (which they love) the head chicken starts gets more aggressive towards the others. He just starts running after them and pecking at them for no good reason. Lettuce and most greens calm them down quite a bit and seems to mellow them out.

    I probably sound like sort of an idiot right now but is there any truth in it? Have you noticed anything like this?
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Some of that may have to do with how much they like particular foods. What I've seen is that if it's something they don't care much about, it's no big deal. If it's something they really love, then you see more of the pecking order. The higher ranked chicken(s) will want to make sure they get the biggest share and will chase away the lower ranked chicken(s). Some of these types of squabbles can continue after the food has been eaten.

    Since chickens these days often are on vegetarian feeds and don't have as much access to bugs and worms as they would have in earlier times, I think meaty type foods are something their bodies crave a little more. I don't feed meat, but mine are wild for any bug, larva or worm. They also go nuts for sunflower seeds, which contains an amino acid that's usually in short supply in plants, but more common in meats.

    In general, scratching around and foraging seems to be a relaxing activity for my chickens. Unless one of them suddenly finds something really good. Then it's chaos! [​IMG]

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