Lesson 781 – Sex, dirt, and shadows

This morning I took the chicks outside for a little exercise.

At first they just stood around. Do you see why I have concerns about the darker one, Mrs. Bucket, although it does look like she may be getting the beginnings of an apron, that is some pretty impressive tail bling. She also tends to demonstrate aggressive behavior by flapping her wings at (now) littler Josephine.  Anyone feel like chiming in on Mrs. Bucket’s  sex? (Do I really have a Mr. Bucket?)


Josephine, on the other hand, horizontal and tucked in low, is pure female.

Instinct is a powerful force. After just a few minutes in the sun, Josephine took her first dirt bath.


And then Mrs. Bucket joined in. I mean, seriously, how did they know to do that without having someone to teach them first?


But then a bird flew overhead, it’s shadow ominously passing o’re the chicks, who quickly scrambled to the safety of the under-chair of the great mama hen.


Instinct is a powerful force, indeed.

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, Chick Photos, Chicks, Mama Hen, Maran chickens, Violet

10 responses to “Lesson 781 – Sex, dirt, and shadows

  1. I just love it that little tiny chicks know instinctively how to dust bathe! What cuties!!

  2. Lori Falkenstien

    I’m new to chickens. Ours are only a few months old but I remember when I saw our little chicks dust bathe for the first time. I thought something was wrong with them lol! It looked like to me, the newbie, that one chick was having some sort of seizure and the others were pecking it! It finally dawned on me what was happening but I was so surpised that they knew to do it so young. Such amazing creatures! 🙂

  3. Lisa Schumann

    If you can see the shape of the tip of the feathers you can tell if you have a male or female chick. If the feathers are rounded it is a female. If they are pointed it is a male chick. Good luck. Lisa

  4. backyardchickenlady

    What the chicks just know from instinct is amazing. My babies did the same thing when I built a dust bath out of a cat litter box sat into the ground. I figured they probably wouldn’t even use it but they did! And they continue to use it now. Although I am thinking I will need a much bigger one as fast as they are growing. And like yours did, one just cannot dust bath alone…it seems to be contagious!

    What sweet little cuties you have. I wont venture to guess their sex because I don’t even know my own for sure 🙂

    Love the title of this post..who is going to pass this one up in the email box!? Haha!

  5. Carla

    We guessed the sec of our chickens and we were right. Our females stuck together and our males were the ones who would go off on their own and were the first to roost. What fun chickens can be.

  6. I love it when they scratch. I’m like, ‘who taught you how to do that?!!’ 😀

    Fingers crossed for a MRS.Bucket 🙂 x

  7. We have two babies. Although she knows they are not listening attentively, my wife talks to them sternly. I just went and stared closely at their tail feather tips. Chicks indignantly said, “What the **** are you staring at? Show us how to peck 911 with our little beaks and we will call 911 and ask to speak with Child Protective Services about a neighborhood voyeur stalking us.”

    Reminds me of an old naughty joke (probably suitable for mixed company, but you have been warned:

    Sweet elderly lady call local sheriff’s office. (Change gender if too sexist.)

    “Yes, ma’m?” operator answers.

    “Please send some deputies! The man across the way is exposing himself!”

    Deputies arrive. “Victim” says, “Look out this window! You’ll see what I mean! He’s doing it right now!”

    Deputy, “Excuse me, ma’m, but I only a bare chested man. Nothing improper about that.”

    “Victim: “Here! Stand on this chair! You’ll see what I mean!!!”

    • Wendy Thomas

      🙂 you never cease to deliver.

      Congrats on the baby chicks, didn’t realize you guys were getting any (but glad to hear that you are replacing those that were lost last season.)


  8. glynnis lessing

    it took me a while to figure out why our chickens would sometimes comically run- then I realized it was only across open spaces! when I see birds of prey overhead I caw enthusiastically like the crows that often warn our chickens. They all run for cover.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s