My girls are growing up!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 2DogsFarm, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    11wks tomorrow [​IMG]
    They are my first-ever chickens and they amaze me with how fast they change from day to day.
    I've only had them 2 weeks but the changes are obvious, even to me.

    Just this week (it seems to me) they all grew tailfeathers and are starting to sort out the Pecking Order.

    One of the Delawares - Noodle - is larger than the rest and she seems to be taking the Head Honcho spot. Always first to the new treat, does Inspection when I refill the waterer, takes her job of watching the Outside from their screened door very seriously...

    2nd in command is the larger Black Star - Markena - and after her the other Delaware - Salad, then Xtra Crispy (Black Star) and finally the smallest & most foofy Houdan: Misty Cologne.

    Now for my Newbie observations & questions:
    1-Noodles back feathers always seem to be fluffed - is she cold or what? The others will fluff out then smooth back down, she always has an area that stands up when she's not roosting.

    2-Salad was my friendliest hen the first week, allowed me to pick her up, seemed to enjoy her laptime & petting. Now she's become more aloof - still less fuss than the others when I do pick her up, but not her sweet original self. What's up?

    3-I am feeding treats sparingly - yogurt every morning, then mostly a handful of clover or soft weeds from the yard. They love their treats and eagerly take the greens & their grower crumbles from my hand but still fear the Predator Hand if I reach for them. Should I just keep on this way and expect eventually they will allow me to pick them up w/o a shriek?
    I'd like to teach them to crouch - the way a friend's grown hens did - to be picked up. How do I do this?

    4-the feeder has a layer of crumbles dust - should I remove this? I've just been pouring fresh crumbles on top when it gets low.

    TIA & that's all for now [​IMG]
     
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    You are doing just fine. When my birds fluff up it is a showing of dominance. I had one that would do that to me so I would pick her up and hold her for a few minutes then put her back down. I wanted her to know that I am the queen of the flock. I repeated this every day. They get used to it. They are still young.
     
  3. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Thanks Cmom - I feel like I'm on the right track, but like to get input from you Pros

    So:
    My Noodle is probably showing the rest she's #1 by fluffing.

    Tonight the 2 Black Stars were playing Cockfight - hackles up, flapping at each other - reminded me of guys doing that chest-bump thing [​IMG]

    I've also made a habit of stroking each one when I shut them up for the night. They are usually roosting in a row when I do this and maybe because they're sleepy I can get some petting in w/o a fuss.
    Sometimes I'll pick one off the roost for some laptime beofre putting her "back to bed"

    I emptied the crumbledust out of the feeder onto the floor and they ate it from there - I guess they just couldn't get it out of the feeder themselves.

    They seem to be watching me a lot - I keep seeing one head or another cocked in my direction with a chicken eye fixed on me.
    So maybe they are getting to know me:/
     
  4. Gonzo

    Gonzo Songster

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    May 25, 2009
    Southwestern, In
    one of our roo's is always fluffed up, so we named him Fluffy! [​IMG] he's pretty tame too. he lets us pick him up and rub his belly! If we pick him up and walk away with him,the others will follow us! They're a hoot!
     
  5. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Aww sounds like one happy chicken family! [​IMG]
     

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