Lesson 737 – Chicks need to be socialized

What do I always say in my chicken workshops? You can’t have only one bird. Chickens are flock creatures; they need to be with others. One bird is not a flock. You need at least 3 birds for the chickens to form a flock and not be stressed.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

In a spectacular example of “Do as I say, not as I do,” this past weekend I brought home one solitary chick. (Oh but what a chick!) Violet is by herself and I don’t have any plans on getting other chicks for a while.

A chick needs to be socialized, she needs to know that there are flock members around. This is why I placed her tub in the walkway to the kitchen (the most used room in a household of 6 kids.) No one can pass the chick without calling out to her or wishing her a good day.

I’ve also encouraged the kids to play and handle her as much as possible (Emma had to wait until she was over her cold.) I want Violet to get used to people. She’s played with before school, after school, and sometimes (sometimes) when I’m on a long muted conference call.

But I also want her to get used to animals.

Here is our dog; Pippin meeting Violet for the first time.


Anyone who has taken my class knows what that is on top of the tub. 🙂

And here is Pippin trying to get to know Violet better.


FYI – Pippin is *never* allowed near the chick without supervision. I’m not sure he wants to eat the chick as much as play with her, but still, we’re not going to take any chances.

This weekend was mild enough to let the chickens out and spend some time in the yard raking. Pippin joined us too but soon tired of the activity and left the raking to go back into the house.

“There’s a chicken following Pippin into the house,” Marc said.


The boss.

I looked and sure enough, Charlie – although being in the coop all winter – followed Pippin right into the kitchen as if she were the boss of the place.

She heard Violet’s peeping and went over to see what all the fuss was about.


Black Copper Marans meet Black Copper Marans

Enough with the youngster, Charlie must have thought, because she then proceeded to go over to the dog and water bowl to get her fill.


For those of you who followed Charlie’s story when she was living in our house, you’ll know that she quickly abandoned the chicken feeders and instead ate from Pippin’s bowls. Along with sleeping with Pippin, I swear that Charlie, for a while there,  actually thought she was a dog.

pippin charlie lo-res

Charlie eventually rejoined the rest of the flock in the yard and Violet, not knowing any different peeped loudly for one of us to pick her up and play.


Drawing by: Lauren Scheuer

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two. 


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Charlie, Life Lessons, Personal, The Family, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Lesson 737 – Chicks need to be socialized

  1. Lori

    I love how in the first photo, there is a blue-ish purply hue to Pippin…so appropriate for meeting “Violet”. So reminds me of the movie!!

  2. My wife is struggling with disillusionment. Even though we have a wonderful (if very protected) “free range” run; even though we have every treat our four hens could possibly want, and even though she talks to them frequently in the friendliest manner (and often calls them “sweetie” and such endearments), and lots of room,
    hen #4 did not look well. My wife took her to the vet. He said, “She is henpecked.”

    (As am I, but that’s another story, we won’t consider here.)

    Moral: So no matter how spoiled our hens are, they always want more.

    Draw no conclusions about marital relationships from this comment. After all, we have been married only 47 years, and are just barely learning to live with each other.

  3. Oh I just love this story and Modestypress….you’re pretty funny! LOL Ok I’m on my way to the next lesson! 🙂

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