Why do they scream around

stcroixusvi

Songster
8 Years
May 5, 2011
782
48
166
Western NC
My Coop
with something in their mouths announcing to the rest of the chicks that they have a treat? Would make more sense to slink off quietly and eat in peace.
 

Barrdwing

Songster
8 Years
Mar 19, 2011
416
20
111
A house surrounded by chickens
I suppose it could have to do with being all excited about the treat, and so worried that someone will steal it that they can't help but panic. But that's a really good question. How could fussing about a treat, and drawing the entire rest of the flock after you in hot pursuit, be a beneficial behavior trait?
 

Blue_Myst

Songster
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
3,808
10
201
Hm, good point


Maybe they enjoy being chased?

Or maybe chickens are just too proud and can't help but boast
 

Henicillin

Pill Counting Pullet
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
1,137
32
163
East Nassau, NY
One of my buff Brahma chicks begins shrieking if somebody else is in possession of something desirable and she's unable to claim it. It's a loud, piercing, rapid-fire series of chirps. I swear it's a chicken temper tantrum, as it only happens if another chick has thwarted her efforts to claim whatever is the latest and greatest thing in their little chickie minds. She is now referred to as the Drama Llama Brahma.
 

GiddyMoon

Songster
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,089
20
151
Tucson, AZ
I will go out and watch the chick and all their ridiculous behavior..they don't care who they step on, smash, poop on, steal from, the smart thing would BE to just stand there and eat it..but instead of realizing what they have..they freak out worrying about who might see it...running around, hiding it from others.....which causes their problems..so much like human nature..it's scary.
 

Dingo

Songster
9 Years
Apr 29, 2010
715
14
133
Somewhere near Springfield, Ma
Quote:Oddly enough many social animals do this to some degree. Some species are social feeders like a lot of parrots, to get a finicky parrot to try a new food you can eat it or pretend to eat it infront of the bird. It's also a common behavior in primates, sort of a code of ethics. There've been studies on this showing that monkeys that dont announce a food source are often repremanded within the group.
As to why chickens do it, it could be any of those, or perhaps a sort of assistance call if the food source is too large to gulp down a pack of wild eyed hungry chicks to help break it up might be just the thing needed to consume the treat. The running and screaming might just be part of it.
 

horsekeeper

Songster
9 Years
Jan 26, 2011
599
269
237
Middleburgh, NY
Lucky they don't have teeth
My daughter stops over almost every night to watch supper treat time. I can put down a whole plate of peas, grapes, or scrambled egg and they will all chase the first one to get a piece and start shreeking. Then they realize there's a whole pile and the riot begins. (5 week old silkies) It's like a horror movie, gone in 60 seconds.

I gave them a dozen crickets last week and they all jammed at the far end of the brooder screaming in terror. I felt bad and tried to catch the crickets to take them out. The bravest (or smartest) chick interpreted my picking motions correctly (dam slippery crickets) and approached to see what I had. It grabbed the cricket and did the food call and then they all pitched in. They were even catching them in mid hop. Too funny.
 

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