Is my baby chick too attached to me?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MadHatcher, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. MadHatcher

    MadHatcher In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2010

    I just adopted a three week old Buff Oprington chick on Monday. Before I got her she was kept in a large outdoor pen with lots of other baby chickens, larger almost adult chickens, and dogs running all around outside the pen.

    I brought her home and settled her in the brooder with her heat lamp, food, water, and a few old washcloths to snuggle against. Well she wasn't pleased... I've never heard such alarmed peeping as I do when I leave the room. As soon as I appear in front of her again her peep-peeps get much more quiet and relaxed...

    After just a half hour or so she was letting me pick her up and hold her while she groomed and preened her newly developing feathers.

    If I put her in the brooder without the top netting over it I quickly learned that she could fly up and perch on the edge... which isn't a problem for me I think it is good that she is learning how to perch/fly/etc. but.... if I'm sitting on the couch and she is in the brooder... she'll hop up on the edge peep loudly at me and fly over and land on me on the couch... Then she runs up my body and nestles on my shoulder against my neck.

    She hates being left alone and follows me everywhere I let her... She likes to explore the house but always returns to sit literally on my foot. If I place her under her heat lamp (because I worry about her staying warm since she is only three weeks and its about 80 degrees in my house) she'll lay down on her side propped up against my hand... But if I move or try to leave she is either peeping alarmingly or trying to follow me...

    I've recently tried changing her brooder into a laundry basket with smooth triangular holes so she can still see me when she is inside of it but she still would rather be sitting on me or exploring the house near my feet.

    Do you think she might be getting too cold? I rarely see her eat... I think she hates the chick starter. But will accept yogurt or other treats from my finger only. She loves to peck around the floor but even if I scatter some starter mash on the ground she moves to a different spot where the start isn't - like she is shunning the food. Maybe she is eating enough when I'm not looking because she is still pooing well and I've observed her drinking on many occasions. She prefers drinking running water out of the bathroom tap especially... naughty bird [​IMG]

    At night I have taken to letting her nestle against me in blankets until she is good and sleepy before transferring her to the brooder for the night. She sleeps there just fine alone all night until I check on her when I wake up the next morning. She flys up onto me as soon as I take off the netting from her box.

    I know everyone on here is always concerned about poo in the house... but she isn't really all that messy in my opinion. She doesn't poo on me or on her blankets but prefers to poo in her brooder or on a surface... like the sink or floor. Super easy to wipe up. I'm thinking I might start potty training this week.

    She loves my husband just as much and behaves the exact same way with him as well. I think her behavior is interchangeable between the two of us. Although he stays at home all throughout the day so she spends more time with him.

    Why do you think she behaves this way? Is she lonely? And could all of the attention I (and my husband) give her be bad for her?

    Thanks guys!
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Aww, sweet story. The peeping is because chicks just don't like to be alone. It might be good for you to get another chick or two. Or continue to spoil her! It's all good! [​IMG]
  3. Arcane Araucana

    Arcane Araucana In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2010
    Fort Mohave
    That is a sweet story. Besides getting some more chicks to keep her company, you could put a mirror in her brooder, and maybe a feather duster to snuggle with. If you want to raise her as an "indoor" pet, you could check out chicken diapers. I'm not too sure potty training will work. What's her name?
  4. MadHatcher

    MadHatcher In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2010
    Her name is Excelsior! and she may very well need to be an indoor pet chicken. I don't know if the potty training will or won't work... I know she prefers to poop more first thing in the AM vs any other time of day. She doesn't poo in her blankets or on me while snuggling on the couch but if I pick her up and place her on the edge of the brooder she'll splort pretty quickly and then is ready for her pickup again... So I'm thinking if I can reinforce that habit with food it might work that she starts associating pooing there with food and therefore return to that place instead of pooing on the floor or other flat surfaces. Maybe it won't work and I'll need to try out the chicken diapers... but all in all she is a pretty strange chicken compared to what I've read on this site and others... She's great through! [​IMG]
  5. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    Sounds like one spoilt chic... but it doesn't sound like you and your hubby mind being the spoilers [​IMG] ... if all three of you are happy then no worries.
    IF you don't want it this way, then I would get her another chicken friend or two. Either way, it's all good!
    Sounds like a good plan for house training her... going with her natural instincts. [​IMG]
  6. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    How adorable is that, well if you wanted a friendly pet chicken you got it. As far as she is concerned you are her flock if you don't intend to get anymore get used to it. I wish mine were that friendly lucky you.
  7. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    Wow, I wish mine were as into me! But they have chick buddies, so I'm the big scary monster [​IMG]
  8. MadHatcher

    MadHatcher In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2010
    So you're all saying the key factor to her behavior is that is in an only chicken... hm interesting and reasonable idea.

    We have three little dogs at home too - two chihuahuas (one four pounds named Widget-Moo and one ten pounds named Clementine) and a little terrier mix (named Motor who looks like a 20 pound version of Toto from the Wizard of Oz) and they sniff the chick and all snuggle on the couch with us too.

    Excelsior! completely ignores the dogs altogether and focuses on my husband and me... its like for her the dogs don't exist and the dogs never ever try to hurt her and tend to mostly ignore her as well except for the occasional sniff.

    I'm on a waiting list (and have been for months and months) for 9 araucana hatching eggs from Sky Blue Eggs and hope that they will arrive soon. I don't know if any will hatch out but if they do in a few months we should maybe have more chicks around the house for Excelsior! to play with.

    That'll be an interesting addition. I'm afraid to get any more chicken-friends for her at this time because the city ordinances state that I can only keep two hens per household... so I may end up re-homing some babies if I get a good hatch out of the batch of 9 eggs...
  9. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    You may have the best of both worlds for your girl and you... by the time you hatch out those eggs she will be already super bonded to you both, but then she can have her own "pet" chicken to keep her occupied when you aren't around... sounds good to me.[​IMG]
  10. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    Here is a webiste where you can buy a chicken diaper:
    bought a diaper from this women and I was very pleased! [​IMG]
    Since she does not have another chicken, she has bonded with you! She thinks you're her mommy! I have had this happen with day olds. Only 1 chick would hatch and it would bond with me! [​IMG] I had one named "Pip" pretty much the same story as you! Wouldn't shut-up unless I was holding her! [​IMG]

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