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Three-week old chick tid-bitting. Common or unusual?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by azygous, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    In all my eight years of raising chickens, I've never seen a baby chick tid-bit when given a treat. They usually gobble it fast before the others can get it.

    Yesterday, I opened up the chick-sized portals in all of the partitions in my run so my three chicks, three-weeks old tomorrow, can begin the integration process by mingling with the adults. They quickly became adept at zipping around the run at warp speed, ducking through a portal when they need to evade a pursuing bully.

    Today, I noticed Peppermint, my one Gold Cuckoo Marans baby, was spending a great deal of time just loafing with the adults, and they were very accepting, making no aggressive moves toward her. The other two babies, both Cream Legbars, kept together, and while they ventured out into the run a lot from their safe pen, didn't spend quite as much time hanging out with the adults as Pepper did.

    Then at bedtime, I gathered them back into their chick pen and gave them some meal worms. After eating a few worms, Pepper grabbed another one from my hand and ran off a little ways and began dropping the worm and picking it back up again, all the while tid-bitting, looking around and chattering rapidly exactly like an adult ranking chicken will do when they find something good and want to alert the others to it.

    She repeated the behavior a minute later with another worm. The other two chicks either ignored Pepper or didn't understand what she was doing.

    I'm wondering if Pepper, in spending so much time hanging with the adults, picked up this behavior. Or maybe this is normal behavior for baby chicks, too. But I've sure never seen this before.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Are you sure Pepper isn't a little boy, that's little rooster behavior, sounds adorable, I always integrated my chicks young as they are usually accepted as part of the flock.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    I realize tid-bitting is roo behavior. I'm trying my darndest to remain optimistic that MPC has sent me the right sexes this time. Four months ago, half ended up being roos, this latest order being the replacement for their major screw-up.

    It may also account for why this little chick has also been an outlier, enjoying independence from the group.

    Everyone insists you can't tell males during the first month from behavior, but I've nailed every one of my roos during the first couple weeks. This would make three roosters I will be coping with.

    I'm certainly finished with MPC.

    Yes, it's adorable behavior, especially in that squeaky voice.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's too bad, I have never had trouble with MPC, I can always tell the roosters early by the behavior too, they also seem to feather slower and have a more upright stance. Let's hope it's still a girl.
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe it'll be a pullet that turns into an exceptional brood hen, just maybe?
    I'm a glass half full kinda gal :fl

    Good luck!
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I am a realist. Pepper and one of the Legbars Snickers were just chest butting. I've been suspicious of Snickers' far lighter head from the beginning. Boy Legbar's have lighter heads than the girls. If this is true that two out of the three are accidental roos, rather let's say, roos-due-to-incompetence, this is an even worse outcome than last time.

    MPC must have someone's worthless nephew working at the hatchery sexing these chicks. These are all breeds that can be visually sexed with a pretty good success rate if the person has an eye for detail. Obviously, that isn't the case.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    It does sound like something is off with their sexing this year, this is the first time I purchased straight run. Hope they fix it before next year. Thank you, I now have a vision of some teenage kid looking at chick butts trying to sex them.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    Hah! I couldn't have done any worse if I had ordered straight run instead of pullets.
     
  9. Smoda

    Smoda Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi azygous, what did Peppermint end up being?

    I have a 11 week old Australorp pullet called Butter Grumbles who tidbits!

    She has done this, like yours, since she was about 3wks old.

    I worried she was a rooster but no wattles, light pink face, squats when I pet her and she had t lovely round feathers.

    Would love to hear about Peppermint!
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    Yes, Peppermint was a cockerel, all right! At ten weeks he was mounting his brooder mates. I found him a nice home on a farm where he's now the proud roo to twenty hens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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