Saw a new behavior while out watching the chickens - Sharing hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pet Duck Boy, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    It's new to me at least. Earlier today I was out tosssing the last of the mealworms I had to my duck, she happily gobbled up every single one. Half a day later, just a few minutes ago, while out dumping my duck's bin, Nugget, one of my RIRs found an abandoned crushed up mealworms and ran a couple feet away. Once there she started to make strange 3 syllable noises, like - "Bweop bweop bwep" with each one faster than the other. While making those she picked up and tossed the mealworm, several times. The closest chicken to her was Hawk, my EE. She ran over to inspect, saw the mealworm, but hesitated once she noticed it was Nugget carrying it. Nugget simply stared at her with the mealworm in her mouth. None of my 5 would typically dare to steal something from Nugget, since she was the leader and my EEs weren't exactlly high up in the pecking order. Still, Nugget persisted and walked over to hawk, shoved the mealworm in her face, and once Hawk took it she continued her normal chicken buisness like northing happened. So uh, do chickens do this? Or was Nugget the usually mean and bossy leader feeling a little generous today? I've never seen this before and Nugget is indeed a girl!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  2. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    Are you sure they are both female? Roos usually do something like you are describing. They call over hens and let them have treats they find.
  3. The Lisser

    The Lisser Songster

    I agree with Break An Egg . . . sounds like a head roo thing to do.
  4. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    That's what I was thinking. All my 5 of my girls are almost 8 months old, and all are without a doubt girls. I get 5 eggs often. And everyone of them will squat whenever I'm near them. Nugget too. I've seen her popping eggs out numerous time, it was just this behavior that made me wonder since I've heard that roosters will sometimes do this.
  5. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    when i've had broody moma hens with chicks they will make the noises like they are the roo! it is sweet to see all the chicks come running to moma and the food when she calls them!
  6. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    My Joon Bug will do that for Munk. She will rip down grape leaves and call Munk over, or let Munk have her treats. Munk is my lowest hen and Joon is the head hen but they are BFF. This morning my Brahma was digging a hole to dust bath in and Joon chased her out, then stood gaurd as Munk settled in and had a nice dust bath. Joon also protects Munk from the other girls picking on her. And yes both of them are girls [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  7. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Maybe Nugget is going to go broody.. Or maybe she is starting to act like a roo... I have heard that they do this sometimes.. Or maybe she was having a really good day....LOL
  8. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I noticed the other day as I was painting on the coop door, that my RIR roo Rudy came over and settled down amongst 2 tree roots close to me and settled down like they do when they dust bath, but there was no dirt. One of the RIR hens came over and stood over him. I watched them for a few minutes, then realized Rudy was taking a nap and the hen was watching out for him while he slept! It was so cute! She would look up and around, then back down at him, then look back up and around again. She stayed right there beside him till he finished his nap then went on about her business!
  9. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Hmm, ok. Anybody else have anything to add?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I see the tid bitting behavior in my flocks routinely. The three syllabled call "Bweop bweop bwep" mentioned at beginning of thread is signal that is both audible and visual used to indicate a quality food source is found. Roosters do it for hens and hens do it for their chicks. Chicks when independent of adult supervision, will also tidbit to flock mates. Under natural conditions such activities benefit kin or potential mates, therefore self.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by