My chickens are chasing me!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chick N Momma, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Chick N Momma

    Chick N Momma Chillin' With My Peeps

    44
    1
    79
    Apr 12, 2013
    Valatie, NY
    I've noticed recently that my chickens come running EVERY TIME they see me. My chickens are free ranged for part of, if not most or all of the day - nearly every day. I understand them being hungry when they first come out in the morning, knowing I will feed them and I feed them at night when I put them back in their coop.

    They will 4 months old this weekend.

    I enjoy the "attention" the chickens give me - however, they peck at my feet and my legs and any buttons I have on my shorts when the get up to me. I have a hard time walking through them (I have 15 chickens and 4 ducks) because they are expecting to be fed all the time lately! Today I fed them during the day when they ran up to me and they ate like they hadn't eaten all day!

    I'm new at raising chickens and ducks.....Anyone have any idea WHY they are so hungry when they are free ranged and have about 1 acre available to them?

    Thanks!
    Donna
     
  2. Katcynth

    Katcynth Out Of The Brooder

    45
    2
    31
    Mar 17, 2013
    Mine too! They come running anytime I'm outside I think because I was giving the treats... the funniest part is when they constantly peck and jump on my husband when he's out there sitting... lol... the other day he was yelling at one to get down off the chair and another one jumped up and grabbed his cigarette out of his hand... hahhahaha
     
  3. RoseMarie1

    RoseMarie1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,164
    141
    198
    Mar 31, 2013
    Hattiesburg,Ms.
    My Coop
    LOL [​IMG] grabbing his cigarette, [​IMG]
    Mine chase me as well anytime I am out there with a bucket or something in my hand that they think is food. Yep they act like they haven't eaten n a month of Sundays but from what I am learning, that's a chicken. Mine can be out free ranging and I KNOW they are getting bugs but they still act like they're starving to death every time I feed them. lol They always have left over food at night time so I KNOW they are full!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,624
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Forage base exhausted. Either they can not forage in areas not over picked or it easier to wait for you.
     
  5. Chick N Momma

    Chick N Momma Chillin' With My Peeps

    44
    1
    79
    Apr 12, 2013
    Valatie, NY
    I can't imagine that there is not anything to forage. They are out there pecking away all day long. I live in a very buggy area, so I can't imagine it's hard or difficult for them.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,624
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My birds can deplete a 3 acre area pretty easy. Grasshoppers and like seem to be preferred animals which quickly disappear from areas heavily foraged. Insects that remain are either not all that interesting or too hard to catch. They will still scratch and peck about for eats even though finding little. To confirm my suspicions, feed birds only in morning then feel their crops while they are on the roost shortly after dark. A good indication of forage depletion will be empty crops.
     
  7. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    937
    36
    158
    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Is there a particular reason why you would not have feed available to them all day in addition to the free ranging? Chickens do not overeat so there is no reason only to feed at particular times like you would a cat or dog.

    But having said that, my chickens have feed 24/7 and still come running at me expecting treats. Of course, to them treats are preferable to feed. The only way to educate them is not to give in and just let them learn that sometimes you're out there without any goodies.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,624
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    You can often balance feed application with what forage base provides to provide complete without having feed available 24/7. Care must be taken not to apply too little feed as that can result in birds ranging too far complicating predator management and keeping flock where it can be harvested (thinking eggs). I apply food in early AM in amount that will be present until no later than noon. Birds must get rest by foraging. I watch how quickly feed is consumed during day, ranging habits of flock, and crop fill after they go to roost. When forage base is good, ration applied can even be incomplete like with a scratch feed.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,624
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Applying too much feed results in waste and attracts some predators.
     
  10. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    937
    36
    158
    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    I don't agree. My chickens don't waste much and if there's some on the ground they clean it up good. If it attracts predators depends on how secure your setup is. I have had none such problems in the years that I have had chickens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by