Is this normal behavior? New chicken owner here

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bellydancer, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. bellydancer

    bellydancer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Got my chickens Friday night, a buff brahma hen and a silver wyandotte hen. They look kind of small-- supposed to possibly have maybe laid 1-2 eggs so far. Their vents are fine, their feathers are a bit untidy (like perhaps they are molting), their eyes are bright and they are eating and drinking in the coop.

    They are not roosting on the roost, though. They are on the bottom of the pen. Is that normal?

    Also, the brahma sometimes sneezes (a couple of times I've seen) and she opens her mouth and nothing comes out-- she's been doing this off and on since Saturday morning.

    They've been down to scratch in the grass and climbed back up in the coop when the sun started going down.

    We put a plastic easter egg in the nest box.

    They are walking around on the wire of the cage-- is that okay?

    And the next box is filled with cedar shavings-- is that okay?

    What about the sleeping on the bottom of the pen and the opening and closing the beak? Okay?

    What can I expect over the next few weeks?

    Thank you all!!!

    Happy chicken owner!
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

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  3. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    All great advice - welcome!
     
  4. bellydancer

    bellydancer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2007
    they did grow up with roosters-- many of them! You know, these birds look like they are just getting their full feathers. Perhaps they're not as old as represented? I've raised parrots and stuff before-- and these look like immature feathers that are only fully fluffy on the ends. Have I got baby birds?

    And what is with that opening and closing the beak?

    Cedar removed. Pine on way.
     
  5. bellydancer

    bellydancer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Oh, they came from a feed & seed store in the suburbs-- my husband picked them out. The feed & seed sold him the cedar shavings and food and stuff along with the hens.
     
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    If they grew up with many roosters, that might be the reason for their appearence.

    If overmated they can loose a lot of feathers, especially around the neck and saddle areas.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Post some pics of them and we can tell you a bette guess of the ages. They will go though their chick fluff stage and their teen feather stages before feathering out as an adult. Opening and closing of beak... thirsty? If they were only brooded they shouldn't have worms and such but you don't know if the feed store was raising them or if they were part of an unwanted bunch that they got from somewhere else. Cedar shavings from the feed store is another example of how some feed stoers misinform customers badily. I am grateful my feed stores is very good a knowing what things are.... maybe your problem is that the feed and seed stores is in the suburbs! J/k

    If you say they still have baby chick fluff... they might still need heat and hudding is normal... espeically if they are cold. chick fluff would also indicate chicks that are 5-6 weeks old... not the 20-24 weeks old of a point of lay bird. The breeds you have at point of lay should be at least 4 lbs if not more.
     
  8. bellydancer

    bellydancer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2007
    they don't have "chick fluff". It's more like the "bones" of feathers that come out to the end and open up into real feathers-- what on cockatoos we called blood feathers because if the bird broke one somehow, it was just awful and bloody. These chickens look like they're just coming into their adult feathers-- unless they were molting before and are finishing up a molt.

    I would say that they probably weigh a couple of pounds each. I had Rhode Island Reds growing up-- huge birds-- and these are about half that size.

    Yes, I heard some oddball things from my husband about what the feed store said about sexing the chicks and the like.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Hmmm.. in chickens the blood feathers are called pin feathers and will bleed if broken. Although they don't bleed as much as small birds so it's no emergency when one gets ripped open some how. Half the size of a still growing RIR... I want to say they are like 2 months old now then. I sure hope they didn't sell you a pair of "pont of lay pullets" that are actually young roosters... the "developing hen comb" occurs on roosters much earlier than they do on laying birds. I say post a pic!
     
  10. bellydancer

    bellydancer Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Oh, I do hope they are not roosters! Roos are illegal in Dallas!

    They have no combs-- just little colored places where they, I guess, will grow. I was sort of disappointed about this-- they look a little lopsided without something on top of their heads! lol!

    I'm guessing at this point that these hens (we hope) are much younger than represented to us. We don't mind a little waiting for eggs-- I assume since they've survived a whole weekend outside, that they'll be fine?

    I have no camera-- can't take pics. And my friends with cameras? They take oodles of pics and then never download them...

    [​IMG]
     

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