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Author Topic: Advice on my poultry book  (Read 17362 times)

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2012, 03:42:49 pm »
I've answered my own question Buffy. We have new chickens, another three cockerels who are all vociferous. Botty is just feeling insecure, hence needs the security and reassurance of a cuddle from mummy bird. He'll accept one from me as well but I am not his first choice.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2012, 11:05:01 am »
Hi Chris,

 sorry I missed your post. Yes hes wanting to be brooded as you say. As broody hens seperate from their chicks at about 8 weeks of age by becoming very agressive with them until they get the message and leave her alone, this behaviour only seems to happen with chickens reared by humans. With hand reared chicks this seperation does not take place therefore some of the parent\chick behaviours remain.

the looking up as if looking for the sun is is probably him looking for a suitable position oppertunity to jump up and be cuddled. / brooded. Chicks often weave from left to right working out the best place tu burrow under their broody or encourage her to settle down and let them get underneath her.

I really do need to get that book published dont I.


Buffy

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2012, 08:07:35 pm »
Amazing really Buffy, he's 4 and a half, weighs 6 Kg and still behaves like a chick. He does look upwards and all over the ceiling when he is on the kitchen table and wants a cuddle, even though mummy bird is sitting down. I thought he was checking the sky to make sure it was bedtime, because at bedtime he has a long cuddle. So he has just drifted backwards to when he was a chick and is looking upwards to a phantom mummy hen?

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2012, 09:07:20 pm »
I'm a bit jealous  ;D, wishing any of mine would be a bit more cuddly. The closest the youngest hen (born and raised here) comes to showing affection is that she pecks at my hands kind oif playfully  ;D. I supose I should be happy that our boy does not never ever attack any of us  ;D :chook:

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2012, 09:20:00 am »
Some breeds are much more into people than others and within those breeds some have a more confiding nature than others. If you are lucky you get a very friendly one. Though sometimes their endeering little quirks can be a nusance if you are rather busy and trying to go about your business.

The hand reared croads really are the most endeering that I have owned. As a result I try my best to ensure that they go keepers who apreciate their desire to be with people .

I sold some of my hens to a lady recently who loves their friendly nature, though her husband finds that every time he gets the spade out to dig, the hens perch on it and he has to keep lifting them off before he can put his foot on it to dig. ;)

Chris,

      you could be right that the lack of visible sky stimulates him to want to brood. The great thing about animals is that once you try to establish rules or patterns around their behavior there is always an exception. ;D
Thats what I love about nature, it does as it pleases!

Buffy

 

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2012, 08:14:38 pm »
We have a house hen as well Buffy, called Daffodil. She has started to put herself to bed now by walking out of the kitchen, down the hall and into her cage in the dining room. For the last few nights (been in here for months) she has started standing in the kitchen looking all round a phantom sky before walking out to her bed. It seems as though she is looking for a roost as she doesn't get cuddles at night (often), or she is looking at the sky to check the sun has gone. Anyway, after a minute of that she goes to bed. Pity I can't ask her what she's doing? I now favour the roost option. I have never noticed the hens in the Orchard doing it, they just slowly move back towards their coop.

kegs

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2012, 10:47:12 am »
Have you watched them just before they go in to the coop though?  The last thing my Faverolles do just before jumping in to the coop is tilt their heads up to the sky - I thought they were looking out for predators but perhaps it is to check the level of light left?

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2012, 12:42:15 pm »
Hi,

  mine don't do the looking up wards thing before bed but they look into the coop before going in to see who is already in and where the available perches are. I think the instinct to fly up to a tree branch or perch is what makes them look up but working out what they do and why is great fun.

I have three Croads who are broody at the moment and as they all take a slightly different approach to it I realise that explaining broody behaviour to a novice owner requires lots of caveats and exceptions.

My Sussex broody Snowy did it by the book, all very typical behaviour and was a great model to photograph for my book.

Daisy however sits unconventionally and has her hocks poking up on each side and her breast on the eggs.If she goes out for a wee she gets easily distracted. She spends so much time shrieking and telling everyone that she is a broody that she forgets about sitting and has to be reminded about her nest.
 Hatty is old school and creates the traditional broody shape and goes into suspended animation, glazing over and only responding to the offer of more eggs. She likes to make time each day to get out and about and ensure that no one is getting above themselves in her absence. Blossom on the other hand  likes to chat and remains alert throughout her confinement. She particularly likes me to offer her refreshments while shes brooding and will take food and drink from me while remaining on her nest. She prefers to have everything on hand so she doesn't need to leave her coop.

Its great to watch them and learn about the way they approach different situations. As Hatty is the only one who has hatched chicks before it will be interesting to see how they all differ as mothers.

Buffy

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2012, 04:01:11 pm »
We found out why Dilly was looking all round upwards last night. She was eyeing up the kitchen worktops to roost. Did her looking all around the sky bit but then focused first on the cooker hob and then very intently on the worktop. I took her to her cage when she aligned herself, but before she attempted the jump!

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2012, 05:48:25 pm »
Ah!

 there you go then ;D. little Dilly bore out my theory.

I once had a horse who was turned out into a field with a stream in it. When I turned him out there I would often stay and watch him for a while observing his patterns of behaviour and interaction with the other horses.

Some times he would look relaxed with his head downwards and would amble off to graze but occasionally he would carry his head higher, looking alert with his ears forward. On these occassions he would always wander down to the stream for a drink. I got so used to this expression as an indication of his thirst that I was able to notice when he needed a drink.

He moved paddocks, and had to temporarily share a field with some very dominant horses who would often guard the water trough and prevent him from drinking. When I turned him out into the paddock after a ride I would ask him if he wanted a drink and look and point in the direction of the water. If he did the drink face I would walk towards the trough and shoo the horses away. Once I had them at bay he would follow and drink in safety.

I shared 20 years of my life with that horse so you might say that we should have had that level of communication, trust and understanding. Though some people never seem to learn anything about what their animals are trying to say to them no matter how long they keep them.

Understanding chickens is much harder than horses but just as rewarding. :thumbsup:

Buffy

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2012, 01:18:17 pm »
Ah!

 
I shared 20 years of my life with that horse so you might say that we should have had that level of communication, trust and understanding. Though some people never seem to learn anything about what their animals are trying to say to them no matter how long they keep them.ding. :thumbsup:
That is so true Buffy.  My two working spaniels were like that - we all knew what we wanted from each other and it makes for a happy co-existence.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Advice on my poultry book - Exciting update
« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2012, 09:40:28 am »
Hi Everyone! :wave:
                     I thought that those of you who were interested in a copy of my book on chicken  behaviour and communication might like to know that it will be available in the new year.  :excited:
                   Its called Talking Chickens and is full of information on what chickens do and why. Including the sounds that they make and what they mean. Each chapter is illustrated with colour photographs of my birds displaying everything from dustbathing to brooding. :chook: :chook: :chook:
The book will be available in paperback at 9.99 and in all e-book formats and is available to order direct from York Publishing limited.
If those of you who expessed an interest in  would like to reserve a signed copy please pm me with your email adress and I will add you to my mailing list. :eyelashes:
Thanks again for all your positive encouragement and ideas.
 
Buffy
   

Tudful Tamworths

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Liz's website
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2012, 05:25:09 pm »
Congratulations! I didn't see the original posts, but just spotted yours. Very pleased for you. Make sure to ask the publishers to send a copy to Country Smallholding magazine and feature it on my book reviews page.
www.lizshankland.com www.biggingerpigs.com
Author of the Haynes Pig Manual, Haynes Smallholding Manual, and the Haynes Sheep Manual. Three times winner of the Tamworth Champion of Champions. Teaching smallholding courses at Kate Humble's farm: www.humblebynature.com

Bert

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Isle of Mull
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2012, 07:53:32 am »
I still want a copy of your book when it comes out  :thumbsup: :excited: :thumbsup: .

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Advice on my poultry book
« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2012, 08:46:34 pm »
Just noticed your personnal details. My sister-in-law (a horsey person of repute) has called me the 'chicken whisperer' for several years now. Would still like a copy of your book though please.

 

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