Protective instincts in 6 week old pullet?

loohoo

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May 9, 2020
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I've noticed this over the past week or more, and just found it interesting. I wondered if anyone had ever seen similar or maybe perhaps its not at all what it seems.
At dusk, all the chicks head to the coop, we've been working on roosting (I put them up every night and we are to the point where everyone stays until morning, finally.), but they all pile on top of each other on the ledge of the coop entrance until I come "tuck them in".
For the last week or more, our largest, most quickly developing pullet, Ginger, lays in the middle of all of them, with both of her wings spread out covering the others' backs. Like a mother hen with her chicks. Its really cute, and I just wondered if anyone had seen similar before? Is it possible to have that "mother hen" instinct so young, or is she just maybe comfortable that way? 🤷‍♀️ Either way, its very cute. 😊
She is always on alert too, keeping an eye on everything going on while the other girls can be a little oblivious sometimes.
 

DobieLover

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I've noticed this over the past week or more, and just found it interesting. I wondered if anyone had ever seen similar or maybe perhaps its not at all what it seems.
At dusk, all the chicks head to the coop, we've been working on roosting (I put them up every night and we are to the point where everyone stays until morning, finally.), but they all pile on top of each other on the ledge of the coop entrance until I come "tuck them in".
For the last week or more, our largest, most quickly developing pullet, Ginger, lays in the middle of all of them, with both of her wings spread out covering the others' backs. Like a mother hen with her chicks. Its really cute, and I just wondered if anyone had seen similar before? Is it possible to have that "mother hen" instinct so young, or is she just maybe comfortable that way? 🤷‍♀️ Either way, its very cute. 😊
She is always on alert too, keeping an eye on everything going on while the other girls can be a little oblivious sometimes.
Can you post a picture of this? And your coop inside and out?
 

loohoo

Songster
May 9, 2020
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Southern Ohio, US
Can you post a picture of this? And your coop inside and out?
Yep, I'll try to get pictures today.
I saw a tip on here about putting a battery powered light in the coop at dusk to lure them in, so I didn't have to round them up each night and that worked on the first try. If the light is on, they will go all the way inside the coop and hunker down in the bedding. (And then I turn it off when I close them up.) If I don't put the light in, they head up to the coop now but don't go all the way in. I'm guessing because of the dark. We are going to add a window to allow more light in, to hopefully help with this but haven't done it yet.
Today my husband is going to whip up a little ladder to get onto the roost inside the coop, as I'm wondering if that's contributing to them not roosting themselves. When they get onto the roost in their run, they use a ladder - which it is much higher off the ground than the one in the coop but 🤷‍♀️
I feel like I should also add, our little flock consists only of the 6 week olds so we have no big girls for them to learn off of.
 

aart

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Have seen all age birds occasionally put 'their arms around' another bird.

Would be a great pic, if you can catch it........can visualize it tho...cute.

Wonders how high the roost is in the coop?
Pics of that would be great.
They should be able to fly up at 6 weeks.
 

DobieLover

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Yep, I'll try to get pictures today.
I saw a tip on here about putting a battery powered light in the coop at dusk to lure them in, so I didn't have to round them up each night and that worked on the first try. If the light is on, they will go all the way inside the coop and hunker down in the bedding. (And then I turn it off when I close them up.) If I don't put the light in, they head up to the coop now but don't go all the way in. I'm guessing because of the dark. We are going to add a window to allow more light in, to hopefully help with this but haven't done it yet.
Today my husband is going to whip up a little ladder to get onto the roost inside the coop, as I'm wondering if that's contributing to them not roosting themselves. When they get onto the roost in their run, they use a ladder - which it is much higher off the ground than the one in the coop but 🤷‍♀️
I feel like I should also add, our little flock consists only of the 6 week olds so we have no big girls for them to learn off of.
Young pullets that have not been shown how to roost by an adult rarely do it that early. Just give them some time.
You hit the nail on the head with stating that the coop is too dark. I would install more than one window. If it's that dark you probably are lacking in ventilation anyway. That's one of the reasons why I asked to see pictures of the coop.
 

loohoo

Songster
May 9, 2020
131
96
106
Southern Ohio, US
Have seen all age birds occasionally put 'their arms around' another bird.

Would be a great pic, if you can catch it........can visualize it tho...cute.

Wonders how high the roost is in the coop?
Pics of that would be great.
They should be able to fly up at 6 weeks.
I love it! 😍 SO cute!
I will take pics of the coop today. The roost is about 2 feet off the floor, I definitely feel like they should be able to get up there. 🤔 Maybe its just the age.
 

aart

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I will take pics of the coop today. The roost is about 2 feet off the floor, I definitely feel like they should be able to get up there. 🤔 Maybe its just the age.
Do they get up on it during the day?
I like to set them up there during the day, over and over, just to show them 'they won't die'.
 

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