fifenashia

Songster
May 15, 2011
372
9
146
Eastern Kentucky
I have 2 golden comet chicks and a khaki campbell duckling that we got from Southern States 2.5 weeks ago. I am thinking they are older than that though since they are still TINY but showing some serious feathering.


I let my older hen and female mallard (both are about a year old) out to run in a fenced in "pseudo-run" while we are outside to supervise (paranoid due to dog attack that resulted in needing new chicks).


Today, we took everyone outside and let them free range in the same area with a VERY CLOSE EYE on all of them. We had one incident but it was not a big deal and I was there to intervene.


My Question is this: How do we know when feathers are about to hit the fan so to speak? She makes a number of different vocalizations, more so since the attack that killed her "sisters" so I am never quite sure which one is her warning tone. The babies have been out there before but safely in a dog crate and she inspected them but did not really seem bothered one way or the other. Today the duckling (who is an AWFUL MEANIE to everyone
) was "punking" my hen and being "tough" so she was on guard but seemed more curious than anything. When one of the chicks (who has just discovered that she has WINGS and can FLLY
) ran out close to her, the Hen jumped and gave a good peck and that was it
. The chick squeaked and ran the other way, I was sitting right there and was able to shoo the Hen away from them all.

I'm just not sure what behavior to be looking for. This is the first time I have EVER had to do anything like this. The chicks have a brooder in the house, there are NEVER alone with the bigger ladies but I want to know what to look for so I am not freaking out every time she gives them a look which I think could result in her associating them with my anxiety and bad things could happen.


Thanks in advance...
 

HorseFeatherz NV

Eggink Chickens
10 Years
May 12, 2009
6,565
43
251
Sierra Foothills of Reno, NV
Sounds like you are doing fine.



When they are together, just keep an eye on them. A peck here or there from your hen is to be expected - she is also teaching the chicks "their place" in the order. But chasing down and pecking should not be allowed.
 

HorseFeatherz NV

Eggink Chickens
10 Years
May 12, 2009
6,565
43
251
Sierra Foothills of Reno, NV



The board moves so very fast, that sometimes posts get "buried" and sometimes people are not sure what to say exactly, so say nothing at all.



Relax and enjoy them. You will find the more time you spend, the easier chicken body language and verbal language becomes.
 

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