Naptime & other ?

2DogsFarm

Songster
10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
1,099
10
171
NW Indiana
I have my very first "flock" of 5 pullets - 10 weeks old this weekend. They've been with me a week now and I spend some time with them every day so they are getting used to me, even the flightiest one.

Saturday I started adding Corid to their water as I had observed some bloody droppings (on advice from this BB). I haven't seen any more bloody poops, but I'd rather be safe than... so I'll continue medicating the water for the rest of the week.
They drink nearly 1/2 gallon a day, I empty, rinse & refill the waterer every evening and add fresh Corid.

Questions:
1 -Yesterday morning I saw them all go down in the shavings - one at a time - until they were all together in a little pile, for a short "nap"? Maybe just a minute or two.
They repeated the same behavior in the afternoon and this time spent some time grooming themselves or their neighbor.

They then got up, shook themselves off and continued eating, drinking, pooping - the usual stuff.

Is this a normal behavior?

2-Two of them seem to be acting kinda "roosterish" - they approach each other, get tall, raise their hackles, then back off. One of these is a sexlink so I know I haven't got a roo. The other is a Delaware and doesn't seem to be getting any male characteristics unless 10wks is too young for these.
Do young hens do this? Is it pecking order?

Thanks for being patient with a newbie
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Lila_Brambleburr

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 17, 2009
27
1
24
Teafield Rd.
Well, I am fairly new at this, too, but I had 3 of my hens do the nap thing under my lawn chair one day...I even heard soft little snoring noises from one of them, which alerted me to the fact that they were there! Relaxed, eyes closed, one even had her head under her wing. I've seen them do this often since. Sounds like nap-time to me!

Also, the last batch of hens I got included 2 ameraucanas who were raised and caged together, but when they were let loose in the yard, they started seriously fighting, rising hackles, puffing up, and viciously biting at each other's combs and feathers. We were told to let them fight, one would come out dominant and everything would settle down, but little miss dominant kept terrorizing her sis until there was blood, not allowing her in the coop or at the food at all. Poor little miss loser ended up hiding in the shed.

I isolated the dominant hen until the weaker one could get a bit of strength and self-confidence back, and tried releasing them together again. I was watching them bump chests, fly at each other and little miss loser ended up shoved up behind the coop door taking a beating. Finally I intervened, and swatted miss dominant's behind...fairly gently at first(just enough to send her flying away), but when she kept coming back, I made the swats count. I literally spanked a chicken!

Interestingly, the roo, who is VERY protective of his hens, stood back and quietly allowed me to repeatedly swat his hen. He had tried to break up the fighting, and was unsuccessful.

After several swats and grabbing her and putting her to the ground in a submissive posture, little miss dominant has left her sister alone. It took a while for the weaker one to bounce back, but peace was restored. So, yeah, I think hens do posture and fight. I'm still not sure why they did this, but I'm glad it stopped.

Congrats on your first flock! Are they not the funniest and most endearing little creatures ever!!!?
 

2DogsFarm

Songster
10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
1,099
10
171
NW Indiana
Quote:
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Chicken Abuser!!!

I have one little Houdan, the smallest of the 5.
She was pecked bare on the front of her neck when I got her. Feathers are growing back, but sometimes I see one of the others peck at her & I do just what you said: swat them away, gently.

Since I've only had them a week, they are still not fond of The Predator Hand and usually run from it.

thnaks for clearing up my question - I guess they do nap (they're still babies, I forget) and test each other.

I am still amazed by how much individual personality they have so young!
 

Uppity Peon

Songster
10 Years
May 1, 2009
1,091
9
161
Willamette Valley, OR
My girls often nap in groups when their gullets are full. They don't always pick the same spot, but it starts with one, and pretty soon one or 2 more will join. The pile gets bigger and bigger with each one trying to settle down right in the center.

Then as soon as there are 8 or 10 all sleeping together, another chick will begin pecking at a feeder and you would swear she cried "Eureka!" because there is a sudden mad rush to the feeder and a lot of sqabbling as they literally pile onto one of the feeders.

End of nap time!
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They crack me up!
 

valentinebaby

Songster
10 Years
Mar 23, 2009
402
3
144
Sherman-Denison, TX
I have eleven 13 and 14 week old Buff Orpingtons, NHR's and EE's. They have already established daily routines that include nap or "quiet" time under the coop, roosting outside, going inside the coop for about 30 mins (not sure why unless they think I've left treats in there!), and almost always on the dot, take a long dust bath outside at about 3-4 in the afternoon. Unless they're limping or look lethargic while they're walking, I don't think you need to worry!
 

2DogsFarm

Songster
10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
1,099
10
171
NW Indiana
OK - I won't worry any more...for now...

If I had kids they'd be the Nerds wearing sweaters & galoshes because the forecast said "cool & rainy"

Can't wait until my fencing is done so my girls can see the Whole World
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