The ethology of chicken, is one of the most fundamental issues in their process of breeding. The behaviors that animals and birds display, are designed towards their survival.
As a result, identifying such behaviors, their needs could be addressed properly. It is also possible to make the situation more favorable for them by observing unusual behavioral patterns.
As we continue this article, we will explore the ethology of chicken in detail. Stay with us.
1. When feeding, they spin around and run, that is because they feel that other chicks are after their food.
2. They are afraid of insects but are interested in hunting flies.
3. They peck at their feces until they are instructed not to do so.
4. Before learning to drink water, they peck at water bubbles or any shiny object.
1. The sound of chickens and their embryos begins the day before hatching. Do you know what will be the mother’s reaction if the embryos move inside the egg? Well, the mother makes a sound or jolts where she is sitting. In this case, the chickens become calm and quiet.
2. Chickens communicate with their mother through their sense of hearing.
Chickens that do have not heard their mother’s voice after hatching, move towards other chickens.
This behavior lasts up to 8 days.
3. The chicks become nutritionally independent since the time they become 10-12 days old, however they still come to their mother to warm up and sleep. (Up to 6-8 months old)
Nevertheless, the mother must completely separate her chicks from herself after 12-16 weeks, otherwise, she has to take care of them until the other males mature.
Genetics, play a fundamental role in the development of behaviors related to laying eggs. To lay their eggs, chickens choose places where an egg was previously laid. As a result, frequent clashes occur between chickens over the place for laying their eggs.
Try to walk among the chickens several times throughout the day, this, increases the efficiency and rate of egg laying. It is best to start walking early in the morning when most chickens have not yet started laying eggs.
The ideal poultry temperature is about 18-24 degrees Celsius. Chicks and chickens consume less food if the ambient poultry temperature rises, as a result, they lose weight and the herd will be out of uniformity. It also prevents the chickens’ legs from growing symmetrically.
If the farm is too hot, the chickens will go farthest away from the heating equipment and vice versa, if the farm is too cold, the chickens get too close to each other and gather near the heating devices. Excessive cold at an early age increases mortality, slow growth, ascites, etc.
For further information on the ethology of chicken in relation to poultry temperature, refer to the article on “Heat Stress”.
Normally, the bedding moisture for chicks should be between 20-40% and for older chickens, between 10-30%. Also, the humidity of the farm should be about 60% for the chicks.
For further information on the ethology of chicken in relation to wet litter, refer to the article on “Suitable Poultry Bedding”.
Increased light and brightness in the farm, increases cannibalism.
• White and red lights are effective for the growth of chickens, but the red light is more commonly used, because using it has advantages such as:
1. Reduces cannibalism because they can no longer detect blood.
2. Increases relaxation and decreases mobility among chicks
3. Increases sexual arousal which is effective during reproduction time.
• The use of fluorescent lamps in farms is not recommended, because these bulbs produce blue light that has adverse effects on chickens. Chickens are also blue color blind.
It is interesting to know that blue light is used when the staff enters the hall, because in this case, the chickens do not see them and as a result, they do not suffer from stress and tension.
• Sodium yellow light has positive effects on chicks and chickens, such as:
1. Reduces fat in the chest area.
2. Heals wounds on the feet and improves the quality of walking.
3. Increases the production of fertilized eggs.
• In general, birds make threatening movements and peck to show their strength. These movements include tilting the wings towards the ground and the neck feathers, upwards.
• When mating, roosters walk around the female with their tiptoes.
• During mating, the female, shakes her tail to one side as a sign of submission.
For more information on this topic, refer to the “chicken and rooster reproduction” article.
In complete darkness, the chicks and chickens fall into a deep sleep. In this case, they have no defense and are easily hunted.
For further information about poultry farm equipment, see the poultry farm equipment page of karnotech website