iChicken

Introducing Brahma and the GoPro

I have always been fascinated by the behavior of chickens. Behavioral patterns tell you so much about your flock: the challenges they may be facing that affect egg production, issues with their health, or unwanted vices they have. The behavior I see when the chickens sense my presence is certainly not their true, uninhibited state, so I set about finding a way to observe them when they are being completely authentic and uninhibited.

Brahma and his GoPro Copyright iChicken.ca 2014

As an avid outdoorsman, I have made friends with the little wonderous camera known as the GoPro. This small wearable device captures what I do in my outdoor adventures, whether it be biking, hiking, skiing, or training my dog. Recently an idea came to me: what if a chicken wore a GoPro? I’d be able to learn so much! I decided to modify a harness and outfit my Brahma rooster (which is larger with a stronger stature) with the GoPro. After Amy’s help in completing the harness, I spent a few days training the Brahma how to wear it. I watched for signs of his discomfort, made sure the harness wasn’t going to impede his ability to eat, drink, flap his wings, roost, or mate. I soon realized that Brahma was comfortable with his new accessory and ready to be the star of the farm’s movie set!

Chicken behaviour Copyright iChicken.ca 2014

The results have been nothing short of amazing. The GoPro camera can be controlled by an app on my iPhone and has two hours of battery life, allowing for plenty of opportunity to observe the behavior of my flock. I have been collecting short snippets of behavior, which I will be sharing with you on my YouTube channel and through the blog. Hopefully the videos will help illustrate some of my flock management tips, behavioral information, and just provide you with an interesting perspective on your own chickens.

Stay tuned!

Dr. iChicken

Brittany Gillingham

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