Saturday, June 4, 2011

Broody Separation Anxiety

Buffy the broody hen has gone from violent nest protector to overprotective mother hen. The chicks are a month old and she has started getting used to being excluded from the chick tractor during the day.

At the end of the day I open the tractor. Some chicks make a break for it, flying out of the top hatch. Other chicks act like ninnies and stand in a far corner looking confused. The rest wait for me to lift the side of the tractor and run to their mother.
Getting ready for bed
Month old chicks and a full grown hen make for a very crowded brooder cage. Since I have not finished the new coop yet, I thought I could get away with evicting Buffy from the cage. Oh the chickeny distress!
Buffy on the roost

Chicks in the brooder
Did I mention the chickeny distress? Let me say that chickens express separation anxiety vigorously.

Buffy ran up the brooder ladder and stood outside the cage squawking. She flew to the other side of the coop and looked for a nonexistent back door and squawked some more. She tried to get on top of the cage and made a big fuss. She tried going into the downstairs nest box and looking up and squawking. The chicks and the other chickens joined in the cacophony. Mr. Big even gave me the stink eye.

Finally, relenting to their demands, I opened the brooder cage door for Buffy. She flew up the ladder and landed in a pile of chicks. After one group squawk silence fell on the coop. Oh the chickeny joy!
Buffy and the chicks in the brooder

Getting a cuddle from mom
The chicks gathered around their mother, gave me an angry glare, and then cuddled up for the night.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is such a funny story! It is incredible how much emotion they can express.