SO many questions about behavior!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lynnski, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Lynnski

    Lynnski Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone, I am new to chicken raising and scour this site almost daily for info! There are some things i can find...

    How do i know if the noises my chickens are making are happy or mad noises?! I have a light Brahma, NH Red, EE and Barred Rock. All four are 13 weeks old. The Rock is the bravest, most curious and most grumbly of the bunch. She seems angry all the time and has pecked me but also lets me pick her up and seems to like when i talk to her. I didnt expect them to be so vocal and would like to get to know them better... they are all so different!

    The EE now makes a high pitched noise like shes startled... or sneezed. It sounds like a dog toy being squeaked! No one else has ever made this noise and i dont see anything else about her that leads me to think she is sick. Sometimes when shes about to run she makes the squeak.

    Lastly, these girls dont like most veggies! I guess its a good thing so they eat a better diet of crumbles and bugs. Does this change as they get older? They actually walked away from a pile of dried mealworms to eat the crumbles!

    Here are a couple videos so you can hear them:

    We are at the tail end of storm Hermine here in New England so you will see a wind block in the lower run, small branches and leaves everywhere! I had just filled their chick grit bowl and walked away when i heard Dixie make that noise.

    [​IMG]

    Also, some slight grumblings from the barred rock, she is much grumpier especially in the morning! I could only get a growl in the first couple seconds. Shes usually objects quite a bit when i step into her yard! You will hear Dixie squeak again while picking a fallen twig.

    [​IMG]

    She sounds so mad when i pick her up!
    [​IMG]


    Thanks for any insight!
     
  2. Chickenmanjim7

    Chickenmanjim7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like all regular noises chickens make to me. For the most part chickens don't like to be picked up and will protest the whole time they are being held.
     
  3. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed those are typical sounds.

    As for whether they like to be held, not always but it's also not unusual for some to really seem to enjoy it. Some breeds are generally more people friendly than others but they're all individuals. If you really want to handle them and they're not easy to catch, try holding them after dark and talking to them while you do. They'll get used to it and hand feeding treats will win them over faster than anything. If you end up with any who will squat for you once they've reached POL (point of lay), you may find those to be the easiest to handle but if they move away, let them...otherwise, to them, you're just another predator grabbing at them and that will make them leery of you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  4. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first video is a nseezing.Problen a respority issue you need to get checked.

    Chances of them changing to eat veggies is unlikely.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    All sound normal to me too....they make lots of different sounds,
    especially at that age when they are switching from their peeping cheeping chickdom to their 'adult' vocalizations.

    Could be a 'sneeze' in the 1st and 2nd video...but they can sneeze without being sick...I see/hear it often when they eat or drink too much too fast.
    The noise she is making when you hold her in the 3rd video is way to mild to be called 'mad'.
     
  6. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed, the sneezing/honking noise I notice when they eat/drink to quickly or when someone gets pecked by another flock mate.
     
  7. Lynnski

    Lynnski Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for putting my mind at ease! I was concerned that Dixie was "sneezing" and will certainly keep an eye on that to make sure it isnt something more.

    I do want to handle them but didnt consider what IslandGirl said about me being just another chasing predator! They come running when they hear me, they eat out of my hand and for the most part seem to tolerate me handling them. There are days that they seem to be very skittish and run from me, is this normal as well?

    They are 13 weeks today and very curious.... is there a way to train them to stay off the deck? I am used to the poop (so much poop!), its that they are getting on the railing and i fear them hopping over the fence!

    Thanks again everyone, i am pretty obsessed with these creatures and never feel silly asking question here!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Probably not, I would put up a gate.

    All the sounds and behaviors are normal.
    Some like to be handled, other don't. My hens don't care to be handled. Only one squats for me, while she will let me pick her up, doesn't seem to enjoy it.
    My pullets currently hate to be picked up, you'd think by the noise they make I was killing them. So I don't try unless I need to catch them to be put back in the run.
    When they mature, behavior changes, so don't be surprised either way.
     
  9. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    13 weeks is that funky age when they're unpredictable and generally want nothing to do with being handled. You'll have a much better idea of who will tolerate it and who won't once they begin laying. They settle down considerably at that point.

    As for training them to stay off the deck, try stringing (loosely) thin rope about 6 inches above the rail towards the outer edge. If they don't have something solid to land on when they jump up to it, they should stop trying. I live on the coast and this is how people keep seagulls off dock railings. As for the opening, a gate would help especially if you add the same loosely strung rope along the top of that too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  10. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hi pitched squeal the EE makes means "something is flying". Could be a hawk, could be a tweety bird, might be a fluttering leaf, but something is moving in the sky. It is an alert. All of my animals alert to it, too. The dogs look up, chicks freeze and hunker down, and even I, look up. It's an important call. Your rooster, if you have one, will usually crow an all clear when it is safe. You will pick up on all their noises. They have quite a language that most animals seem to understand.
     

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