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I need some tips.

Discussion in 'Gardening With Animals' started by dewdropsinwv, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Apr 16, 2018
    dewdropsinwv

    dewdropsinwv Garden Addicted

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    Mine are pretty attatched to me already. It's kind of cute that they wont stay out side if I'm not around, but they eventually come back out on their own. I still have a few that I havent seen out side yet.
     
  2. Apr 17, 2018
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    Interesting. I read an article recently that the brains are being bred OUT of domestic chickens and that we need them to have some sense of awareness and cautiousness. The author mentioned an incident when he was a child, where they thought that they had lost some hens, only to find them later, living happily and laying happily where they SHOULD have become hawk/owl/dog food. They knew when and where to eat and when and where to hide. just fyi.
     
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  3. Apr 17, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i guess farmers don't want to have to chase 'em when it's bbq time...
     
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  4. Apr 17, 2018
    canesisters

    canesisters Garden Master

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    For convenience, just about ALL domestic animals have had the instinct (brains) bred out of them.
    A horse that responds to it's prey instincts and runs a mile every time something moves quickly towards it or above it is useless.
    A dairy cow who kicks violently and bolts if anything touches it's back legs is useless.
    A chicken that panics and vanishes at the site of movement is pretty useless for egg collection.
    HAHAHA, can you imagine folks going out to hunt chickens like they do geese or pheasants? All geared up, special clothes, blinds, decoys... :lol:
     
  5. Apr 17, 2018
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    @canesisters, I have owned over 30 horses over the last several decades. I trained 15 of them to gunfire and at least 5 of them were totally bombproof and would NOT react violently or move or buck or bolt when they were around gunfire. But their experiences were mainly at reenactments. Even though I would not worry about riding during hunting season, my horses KNEW the difference in the gunfire. PLUS officers would always give verbal commands to shoot and they understood to expect gunfire after the commands, instead of out of the blue.
    While turned out I would often see my Arabian, "Corporal", (1982-2009, RIP) spook and run in the Fall when he heard pheasant hunters shooting. When I was riding him he wouldn't react. Horses are smarter than most people believe and they will play with you, with each other and by themselves. He liked to spook and run bc it was fun. My mare (Current) likes to sometimes not go into her stall but go and graze in the "inner sanctum" fenced in area in front of the barn. She wants me to chase her just a little bit, then she relents and goes to her stall.
    Chickens understand who feeds and cares for them. I do not want my chickens to let any predators know that they have gone to the coop for the night. Sometimes I collect eggs after dark and I talk to them so that they know WHO is in their run with them. They do answer me. Chickens are smarter than people think they are, too.
     
  6. Apr 17, 2018
    canesisters

    canesisters Garden Master

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    I totally agree.
     
  7. Apr 17, 2018
    moxies_chickienuggets

    moxies_chickienuggets Garden Addicted

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    I agree. Even the chickens I have that have no names know who I am talking to, when I talk to them. I train the rooster especially, so when I go out, and call for them, they answer me. The broody hens get names too, as I have to get up close and personal with the at times.
    I don't name them as pets. Names are just identifiers for me and them.
     
  8. Apr 17, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    if you around them when they hatch/peeps don't they sorta think of you as part of the flock? and/or parent? not that i know, but i thought that was what happened. they all probably wonder why you don't really speak much of their language though... :)
     
  9. Apr 18, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    I agree with this. My chicks hatched by broodies are out on the range by 3-7 days, depending on the weather. Those that were not hatched by broody are out of the brooder by 2 wks and on their own around the coop and out on range. I go up before dusk to make sure they all made it back to sleeping quarters, but other than that, they are on their own during the day.

    If you wait until they are 2 mo. old to put them out on range they sometimes lack the instincts they need to duck and hide from aerial predators, but they are the right size for a hawk snack. Well bred farm chicks are born knowing to duck and hide at an alarm call...if you've ever heard a hen or rooster give that call, try to mimic it the next time you have day old chicks in the brooder and watch their reaction. They scatter, duck and hide. The ones that don't are likely those with the instincts bred right out of them.

    If they are in the brooder too long, tended by humans from overhead and lose their fear of all of that, they are often not wary enough to range as older juveniles.

    I want my chickens to be wary, I want them to use the woods and other cover to avoid predators. Collecting eggs is no problem if you train your flock to the coop nests and reinforce that training as necessary. It's also important to have nesting sites that are conducive to laying...knowing what they like will encourage them to lay in the coop instead of other places.

    As for getting them out of the coop as youngsters...I don't bother. They will come out when they are comfortable in doing so. It's instinct for them to be wary and not want to come out if they've never been outside before. That's a good thing.
     
  10. Apr 18, 2018
    so lucky

    so lucky Garden Master

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    When I get chickens again, I am not going to be nearly as careless as I was about them free ranging. I hope to only have enough for them to not be over crowded in their yard, maybe just let them out in the lawn very occasionally.
    Because: Poo all over the patio, flowers dug up in the flower beds, dust baths in the middle of the lawn after a mole surfaced. Fond memories. Not even to speak of them being an attractant to all the chicken killing dogs in the area.
     
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