When I go see the girls which is many times in one day. They all have a different way of behaving. Some are the “in your face” sort of happy (and demanding) to see me. Others can be a bit more “meh, you again”… Usually most of them are within touching range, and are quite inquisitive. If I sit down, I’ll have a lap full of chickens in a moment. They love to sit and talk to me, or groom me… I’ve had little bits of stuff pecked off so gently, I hardly feel it. Then there’s those obnoxious pecks…
One of the things I am just getting to understand is pecking. Not all pecking is bad. Imagine that! I figured pecking of any sort should be stopped immediately, but the more I am around them, I realized that they talk with not just the noise factor and body language, but with the pecking they do.
Cleo, will peck me just because she wants me to pick her up, or wants attention in general. She’s an odd bird who’s quite happy to have attention period. Even negative attention. She doesn’t seem to care, either way. Pecking is equivalent to a human tapping on your shoulder to get your attention. It doesn’t hurt; normally.
There’s as many peck types as there are chickens. I can’t take photos of pecking very easily, so bear with my personal descriptions.
Types of pecks:(I get)
OMG! Is that Food??? (peck)
let me get that schmutz off!…(peck)
Hey! Look at me! (peck)
Pay attention to me! (peck)
Do Not Pick Me Up! (peck!)
It’s MY LAP TIME! (peck other bird)
I’m going to eat your hand off!! (pecking hard)
I’m Broody Leave Me Alone!!!! (PECK – CACKLE – PECK)
Hey! Are those long hairs edible??? (testing peck- Nope! Dayam)…
Um, Sasquatch Hair-legs? I can help you with that…. (PECK) Me: OUCH!
Scratch my Waddle… (peck)
I need a Hug… (peck)
MY CHIN ITCHES (PECK – RUB)
Ooooooooooooh Buttons! (PECK)
Ooooh Ring Shiny and Edible! (PECK PECK)
A BUG!!! (peck)
~~~~~~~I think you can see that this list goes on and on. ~~~~
However, with all that typed out above, few of those pecks are out right mean. Most of the pecking I initiated myself when I encroach into their safe zone or was just not behaving according to Chicken Decorum. They do have rules in the chicken yard and those are things I have learned or get pecked.
The pecks are seldom mean pecks. They are just small reminders. I’ve never been out right attacked by any of the chickens. They know better. I am the Dominant Hen, and master of their world. I do have a couple of hens who test me… Georgia who’s always ready to step into my dominant hen shoes if I submit. She’s gotten backhanded a few times. (Below) Another Australorp.
Then there Maggie, who reminds me daily that she’ll eat anything on my body which she deems edible… There is NO teaching Maggie. She’s an insistent and incorrigible Australorp; named after my Grandmother, who acts nothing like Maggie. I promise! 🙂
The Chicken Mom~♥
This could be the beginning of a great book! So well written too! Love the story! What a life you have with them….it also shows a side of chickens we don’t know…a connection with their owners. Great pictures too!! Well-done!
Kathleen, It is kind of a love story! I never knew my whole mental attitude would change when I got chickens… 🙂
Do you think your “ladies” realize how fortunate they are to be yours? I do.
Lea, no they do not realize how fortunate they are! Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am also though…