Euskal Oiloa Chicken Forum

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#1 2012-04-22 02:52:10

From: Millbrook, Ontario
Registered: 2011-08-03
Posts: 448

Breed Characteristics---Behavior

I just finsihed a little pecking story in General Discussion and it made me think of one of the personality characteristics of the breed that I have not put a finger on.......pecking.  They seem to be obsessed with pecking at something.

We all know they peck at our hands.  Are they just curious?  They are not hungry, I know that because I can throw in a crust of bread and it gets no reaction.  Are they friendly?  What is with all this pecking?
Last week I laid down a large, flattened paper dog food bag in the chick run while I was doing something else. Well, it was the best thing!  For an hour while I was working around the chicken pens these chicks stood on this bag and pecked, pecked, pecked.  They are OCD about pecking at this bag.  What do you think is going on?  Obviously they aren't trying to make friends with the bag. 

On a sadder note my sister hatched out some chicks last week and when one baby EO hatched out she was out shopping and by the time she came back the other EO chicks had already pecked it so much it was dismembered. 

One can call them "friendly" I suppose.  My husband calls them "weird".  Some of their behavior does make me wonder?

Susan Buttivant at Amblecroft,
Chaparral Pyrenean Shepherds and Petits Bassets



2012-04-22 02:52:10


#2 2012-04-22 03:56:50

From: Augusta county VA, USA
Registered: 2011-12-20
Posts: 915

Re: Breed Characteristics---Behavior

Yes, pecking is a big thing with them. The other day when i was sitting with them in their run, the 6 week olds were climbing on my lap and shoulder. They pecked me really hard. I had to get up to avoid being eaten alive. I have lots of little freckles on my arms and neck and I think they are attracted to them.  It was actually a Welsummer that caused bleeding, but the EOs can peck and hold on.
That was the day I decided it would be a bad idea to pass out in their pen. :funny:
This goes back to needing to bring my cell phone with me when I go out. Although I think we might use walkie talkies, our cell signal is not good at our place.

I chalk it up to couriosity. They want to know what everything is. Maybe it has to do with being good forgers too.

More pictures and videos of chicks.



#3 2012-04-22 06:13:26

From: Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
Registered: 2011-08-29
Posts: 168

Re: Breed Characteristics---Behavior

Just remember, birds are dinosaurs. It's fortunate that we're bigger than they are.



#4 2012-04-22 12:06:22

From: Louisa County, Virginia
Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 1980

Re: Breed Characteristics---Behavior

I agree with NP and ipf.  Now, you can take this with a grain of salt, because I've had zero experience with chickens prior to last fall, but I believe these birds have some pretty rustic survival genes in them.  I think given their circumstances (habitat, survival pressure, selection) prior to Orozco's work, that as a landrace they evolved into some pretty independent characters.  That's what endeared me to them last fall, reading behind Claire and James and then you folks after I found this forum. And judging from my limited experience with EOs, hatchery JGs and hatchery Australorps, there is a big difference.

My EOs don't cower and flee, they are curious and fearless. I stomped a footlong baby copperhead in the garden last week and flung it into the EO pen to see what would happen - they pulled it apart and devoured it in about 30 seconds! I witnessed a baby bird fall into their pen, same results. I couldn't have gotten in there in time to rescue it and stick it back in the nest if I had tried...

Friendly? hmmmm... Fearless? Absolutely. I'm wearing long sleeves, pants and gloves when I venture into the pens with my POL girls. They can draw blood now.



#5 2012-04-22 12:52:47

From: near Arthur, Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2011-07-05
Posts: 649

Re: Breed Characteristics---Behavior


I've found the chicks are very pecky (which I haven't been able to do anything about and have given up trying), but with correction as juveniles (a light touch on the beak, accompanied by "don't PECK"), the behaviour has changed. My adults still like to get my attention by pecking at the knees of my jeans (I would never go into their pen without long pants), but it's gentle now and means "I want attention, pet me" or "do you have any treats?". The rooster in particular has learned that this will often get him cuddles, which he wants. Now THAT's a behaviour I still find odd.... another thread perhaps.... =D

When all else fails, go spend time with your chickens. :)

Pens are currently filled with Red Cuckoo (Marraduna) and Red Basque (Gorria) breeders, Spitz, and Seramas.



#6 2012-04-22 13:06:21

From: Western Virginia
Registered: 2011-07-05
Posts: 251

Re: Breed Characteristics---Behavior

That's funny - I am just noticing this.   My chicks are 2 weeks old now, and last night they were making a bit of a racket.  It sounded like they were mining or something through the brooder floor.  I went to take a look.  They were all standing in a circle taking turns pecking at spot in the floor at the center of their little circle.  Bizzare.  The floor is shavings on top of a few layers of newspaper (Poultry Press, actually :lol: ) which is covering a wire mesh bottom.  The brooder is up on blocks to allow airflow underneath.  I think it was an escape plan, like inmates chiseling a brick from the cell wall, or they were trying to dig down far enough to find something really good to reat. Either way,.... how soon do you guys put them out in a coop without heat?  I'm thinking I might do 3 weeks instead of my usual 5 because it is so unusually warm this year.... These kids are getting bored!



#7 2012-04-22 13:36:44

poplar girl
From: Athabasca, AB, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-30
Posts: 3159

Re: Breed Characteristics---Behavior

I have some pecky adults. My rooster Wellington and one hen especially so. The other hens (9) and Adonis not pecky. They have been that way since the beginning. All but one of my EO hens is quite fearless and seem to like people and even she is easier to catch than any of my other breeds. Adonis also dislikes people.

I have been inspecting for mites lots lately and EOs most certainly have a different personality than the rest. Almost every one allow being picked up and will stand on my lap during treatment. My hand raised dorkings and easter eggers who received ubber amounts of attention as chicks two years also will flap and squawk and let it be known they are DYING. The d'uccles are somewhere in the middle, more similar to the EOs.

MD your theory is one I could buy after watching their behavior from chick to adult this past year. And ipf yes, I do believe mine most closely resemble small dinosaurs and NOT of the plant eating type...

Lisa I am starting that thread on rooster behavior and I also have some weird stuff going on!

Raising red cuckoo (marraduna) Euskal Oiloak and self blue (lavender) & black Belgian Bearded d'Uccles.




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