My first chickens - wondering if this is normal!

lexinak

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
6
0
7
I just got my first two chickens ever - two 2-month-old Delawares. They were friendly as can be the day I got them (three days ago), perched on my shoulder, let me pick them up, and so on.

One is bigger than the other but the breeder is sure they're both pullets. The first night when I put them in their coop the little one literally forced herself underneath the big one. I've noticed since then that the big one is acting almost like the "big sister" looking after the little one. They are always right next to each other, and when I come in the run they both follow me around, winding around my legs like cats.

Today the big one seemed mad at me for no reason, jumped at my face when I crouched down in their (big) run, and pecked at my leg once. They both refused to go into their coop when I tried to put them to bed; I had to bribe them in with food.

Normal? Weird? Any ideas what might be going on?
 

Tank

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 31, 2011
23
0
22
Mtns of California
The friendly, wind around your legs thing is normal for Delawares. They are very social. Never had one attack. I'd give her a swift kick next time to let her know who's the dominant one in the flock.
 

krissteff

Songster
8 Years
May 2, 2011
189
10
103
Tennessee
Sounds normal to me. I have a barred rock and an easter egger and when the barred rock lays her eggs, the easter egger gets in the nest with her and shoves her head UNDER the barred rock's belly. Ultimately, she settles in and looks like she's sleeping while the barred rock rests her head on top of her. It's really quite amazing!
I still find all 7 piled up on top of each other from time to time. They roosted fine when they were babies in the brooder and then once they went to the coop, they piled up on each other and slept like that. Weird chickens.

I had a lot of questions and worries about the same things you are asking about. I leave a soft light on in the coop, and once I started that, they made their way in on their own. Chickens will be chickens. Mine were a little pecky sometimes until right before they were about to lay. They don't peck me anymore.... unless I have a mosquito bite or scratch on my leg. They always have to make sure to hit those at least once.
 

lexinak

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
6
0
7
Thanks!

The little girl has been pecking very gently at my feet since I got her, but I think that's because I've been out there in flip-flops and my toenail polish is very interesting. The big one just seemed angry today... Staring directly at me and peeping at the top of her little chicken lungs. But maybe chickens just have bad days.

I'll be getting six more chickens about the same age tomorrow. Hopefully they'll be happier with a bigger social group?
 

vclark321

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 30, 2011
204
6
91
Bonney Lake
I have 3 girls, 2 BR's and 1 RIR and the most mature (reddest) seems to be on top of the pecking order. She is also the one who has taken over watching over the flock and acting protective and authoritative with the other 2. She is the one I hear it from it I am late or she seems unhappy with my behavior. Chickens are some of the most entertaining creatures I have ever had.
 

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
99
268
MN
She is challenging you as part of the flock and rising above you in the pecking order. I had my RIR pullet attack me 3 times. After the third time I gently picked her up and carried her around for a few days. If they struggled, I held them until calm. It worked and now they don't even peck at my feet anymore.
 

lexinak

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
6
0
7
Update: The flock has been established. I have two 17-week-old buff orpingtons, three 9-week-old barred rocks, a barred rock mix, and two 8-week-old delawares, all *intended to be* girls but I can't be sure yet.

The buffs run the show (and are absolutely in love with each other). The delawares are next down the pecking order, and the barred rocks (all TINY for their age) are at the bottom, so the pecking order runs in order of size. Each breed sticks to their own and they don't really "hang out" with the other breeds, which surprised me.

The buffs and delawares seem to respect me well and don't mind socializing and being picked up. The barred rocks, however, are absolutely terrified of me - except for the tiniest little girl who attacked my foot twice the first day I got her. Yeah, she got kicked, even though it was adorable. They all run away screaming when I come to pick them up now.
I feel like a kindergarten teacher learning to identify each kid and know their personality
 

pgpoultry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
2,290
37
191
Wales
Any aggressive behaviour towards yourself needs to be swiftly dealt with and the REAL pecking order established with you at the top.

As for hens sitting hens, it happens....





The 'underdog' is a very old Warren and doesn't seem to mind at all.
 

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