Gaining Independence 

Eugenie and Dani discuss their options while waiting for their turn at the breakfast bowl

I think that Claire must have been listening in when I said I wondered how she was going to handle letting her chicks gain their independence.  Or regaining her own independence, maybe?

Since making that post, I’ve been watching them, only to see that it was starting.  

Yesterday afternoon, Claire walked off and left the chicks to fend for themselves most of the afternoon.  They hung out near her, but she did not stop the pullets from chasing them or pecking if they wanted treats the chicks had. 

The day before, she had done just that.  Stepped in.  Protected.  Admonished. 

She maintained a distance until one of them – usually Eugenie – became frightens and began crying for her in plaintive, sharp “Momma! Momma! Momma!”  Then she would come walk them a while, calming her children and then subtly wandering off once again.

This mornjng when I opened the coop door, the chicks came out with a pack of the pullets, made their to the dish, and were chased away by … Everyone, basically.    

Eugenie likes to eat standing in the dish.  No one let her.  Dani had to budge his way in line, only to be pushed out. 

They took perches on the wall (picture above) and pouted, waiting for the crowd to thin and the important first wave (which included their mother) left the dish.  They are no longer welcome in that group of privileged First Breakfasters.  

I don’t know how long the transition will take.  Claire was still sleeping with them last night.  But we are definitely seeing the beginning of the end of their ‘childhood.’ 

still waiting for breakfast
Little Dude and Dani
Dani is almost as big as Little Dude’s head

4 thoughts on “Gaining Independence 

  1. One of my chickens has a brood of guinea fowl keets… She is trying to get rid of them, but they don’t get the message! They are always swarming around her, even though they are about 2 months old by now 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pip still has a soft spot for is Momma, even though he is 7 months old and she’s sitting on a nest of young ones, so he never sees her anymore. So I guess I could see your young ones not understanding that their momma might not want them any more. Dani and Eugenie have always been a bit adventurous and Eugenie in especially wanders off or doesn’t follow when Dani and Claire go somewhere else. But she’s always rushed to protect them and they’ve always enjoyed the right of First Breakfast. Waiting this morning was a hard, hard thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The timing is good, though. Abby’s babies will be hatching soon. So she can use the maternity ward without fighting Claire for it

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