Well, the rain is coming down like crazy and has been for the past two days, making gardening difficult for all but the most crazy among us. Now normally I'd be one of those out there in my rain gear doing what I could in the garden, but since I got my chicks, I've had better things to do with my time.
So, this post is going to be about the chicks so far. Mostly, it's going to be about the pecking order ritual. I keep telling folks you could write a paper on this stuff, and that's just what I'm doing.
With my first three chicks, I found it interesting that the most active chick became the alpha, for lack of a better term. The others would, after a while, simply let my Welsummer just peck at them, while they literally turned the other cheek. What I didn't see was how the second fiddle got that job. Sure the third in line was so docile that she simply sat there and did nothing while the others took their places, but all I saw her doing was staying as close to the alpha as possible. That couldn't be a tactic, could it?
While all that was interesting, I didn't realize just how fascinating it all was until the Buff Orpington entered the picture. I chose her because she was running around, best not to get one too lethargic as they could be sick.
Boy is she cute!
It seemed at first that she was just trying to find a spot under the heat lamp, next to a warm chick. Of course the original three wanted nothing to do with the tiny intruder. Then all of a sudden, one went to eat, and it quickly became "let's see who can eat the most" in the Davies brooder.
Although at first the chicks were all pecking each other, especially the baby, this little fluff ball kept on pecking while the others were content to just ignore her. It seems that the one I picked out was not only fast, but clearly had some serious ambition. I mean, she's half their size!
It took a bit to notice, but by ignoring the chick, I found they were actually grouping together in a set formation.
It's funny, I don't think I've seen the Barred Rock peck so much ever. Maybe she was trying to keep the chick away from the leader, or maybe she was trying like mad to keep her place as third fiddle and not the bottom of the heap?
So, now I'm not sure where she fits. She's clearly one or two. Whenever I think I've got it pegged, something happens to change my mind. Like she'll race to catch up to the three of them and squeeze her way next to the Welsummer. Then later she'll peck at the leader only to have the elder turn away in possible submission.
Either way, this little girl has stormed onto the scene and made a name for herself (we're thinking of Buffy the Worm Slayer, hehe if we can convince the boys). And the way she's eating she'll catch up to them in no time.