No pity for the wicked...?


Mar 28, 2020
So here's an interesting behavior I observed recently between the ducks and the chickens.

First, a few days ago it seemed like when I'd feed the ducks and chickens together, the chickens made a sound that sounded like a sad clucking.

They'd been doing that for awhile.

And I was extremely worried that if they were getting enough to eat, since the ducks can gobble it up faster. (larger mouths and necks, and faster than the chickens). This has been going on for a week. I kept thinking wow, those chickens are sad. (2 chickens, 7 ducks, 2 ducklings). The ducks pekings and khakis, so they are slightly bigger than the chickens also, which grow slower. But the 2 ducklings are smaller than the chickens.)

So to combat this I was being more careful watching them eat to make sure nobody was left out. (You guys probably wondered this too right? Something like, are the big ones letting the smaller ones have enough to eat, etc?) I also increased the food a bit.

Anyway, then yesterday when watching them eat I saw one of the chickens go after the ducklings. (Duckling is 5 weeks, so big enough to run away and very alert. No problems there. And it seems OK when they aren't eating also.) But when eating I'll need to watch this.

Today the chickens, both of them, went after the two ducklings constantly, several times. And there was more than the usual food. They basically didn't want to share.

So if I'd graded this behavior as 'poor things, they are sad', I would have made a bad call as the boss. Instead it was sad they have to share, not sad they are suffering.

Never trust a chicken with a criminal history seems to apply here. And maybe they evolved as more solitary birds than ducks?

I also wondered if the 5 minute feeding rule is real? Someone mentioned this idea on this forum where you feed them about as much as they can all eat in a feeding frenzy in about 5 minutes.

Well what do you think?

The chickens do seem to be more sneaky and devious than you'd guess.

It will be hard to separate them or fix this also because they've been in the same pen this whole time. And I've only had the two ducklings in there a few days. But I'm starting to think that putting the chickens with the ducks long term might not be a good idea, because there's always going to have to be someone on the low end of the totem pole. What do you think on this also?

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