Post hen death observation

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dadthebaker, May 21, 2012.

  1. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

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    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    Well, its been a little over a week that Giada, my flocks head gal, passed on to the great pastures in the sky.

    My girls, in pecking order:

    Giada (deceased) - RIP
    Ida (Garten) -
    Martha (Stewart) -
    Padma (Lakshmi) -
    Racheal (Ray) -
    Julia (Child) -

    Been watching my other girls and noticed they are not quite the same... not in a melancholy way, more like clueless; with the exception of one, Julia. Where I thought she was sick, it seems that she was gloomy. She is moping about, barely interested in eating, takes an occasion sip of water. I throw grapes out, her fav, and she doesn't even chase them. She is laying around, not doing much. She hasn't laid in three days. I am worried about her.

    The usual routines that we took for granted aren't happening. Everyday, when I let the ladies out, Giada would RUN to the seed box and peck out all the sunflower seeds, the others would quickly follow and make a game of it. No more...

    I would string up bunches of lettuce and greens on the fence for them to peck...of course, Giada was always first....another game.... no more.

    Giada was the queen, and got the respect... sure she gave hell if someone questioned her authority, but she didn't have to defend herself often; everyone knew their place.

    Ida, was in 2nd position and now she is number one....but doesn't know how to handle it. She goes to the snacks I put out and doesn't share....she pecks everyone one away until she is done... quite different from Giada...

    Julia, in last place, is always pecked and bullied about. Yet, once she started laying, Giada would let her eat with her (much to the chagrin of the others, now I see).

    This is my understanding now, of why Julia is so sad....I believe where the others moved on and quite frankly forgot Giada five minutes after she died; Julia remembers.

    They are indeed walking about confused, I think...

    Wife gets angry when I say, "I wish Ina would have died instead". The flock dynamic would have been minimally altered. I joke with Wife and say now we should bring in a rooster...it would bring order back.

    This morning, Julia was a bit more perky... she actually ate a bunch and has a little more spring in her step. I am glad.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. wow dadthebaker,

    that is a really interesting observation about flock dynamics. I had a situation where I lost my top hen and the next two down kept looking for her...(so did I actually). I know exactly what you mean too about if it had be ina (Ida?) instead. And like you then next top hen didn't weld the authority as gracefully as the dear departed.

    The good thing is that Julia is perking up. I hope she takes it in stride....and that Ida goes to charm school and becomes more gracious.

    Love the names you have chosen. ;O)
     
  3. M3g4d37h

    M3g4d37h In the Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2011
    I find flock dynamics fascinating as well. good read!
     
  4. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

    106
    2
    91
    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    Thanks guys!


    ChickAt....you lost a number one, also? Wow... Someone I talked to yesterday told me they just lost a number 1 ... Hmmm ... Conspiracy from the flock? A coup in the coop?

    Lol...
     
  5. Sounds like it!! Yes, a coup in a couple coops....-- is she up there clucking down while playing a chicken-sized harp?

    Had something strange happen on Easter (of all days) The one I lost was a gold sexlink...and my others at the time were all Barred Plymouth Rocks or White. On Easter day when I gathered eggs, there was a gold feather in my nest box...but my GSL died in February.
    I only have one nest box---and check it multiple times each day...Easter this year was in April!

    Just thought I'd put some weirdness out there. :O)
    (Cue theme from the Twilight Zone--- )
     

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