Thursday, April 4, 2013

Let The Hen Pecking (Order) Begin

The little chicks are now a little over a month old, fully feathered and have been down in the "big coop" for almost a week.  In that week I have noticed a few behavioral changes.

Of course there is the obvious; testing out their wings, dust bathing, sleeping on roosts, checking out the nesting boxes, pecking everything to see if it is edible.  You know, chicken stuff.  They are so sweet.  I sometimes spend 30 minutes just watching the little ones in their coop while the older flock spends some time out of their yard ranging around the hillside.  I don't think the older flock likes it much because they are not getting as much attention now.

Back on topic now, I have noticed something that I expected to happen; just not yet.  They are challenging one another for peck order.  A few of our chicks are a little larger than some of the others (really they are almost double in size), so they are naturally the top pullets.  However, a few of our smaller pullets want that position and face off with the larger chicks.  They do it often, so it's not hard to catch a glimpse.  They stare at one another, do this little head bobble, walk up to where their chests are within an inch of one another, and then the loser (I assume) flies off to the other side of the coop with the winner in hot pursuit.


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