My chickens will eat out of my hand, but usually run away when I extend an arm towards them to try to pick them up. Yesterday, however, one hopped a fence and started digging through my garden. I was angry, and marched outside to chase her out of there. Much to my surprise, she seemed to pick up on my anger, and rather than running away, she bowed her head and spread her wings a little bit, much like I've seen chickens lower on the pecking order do for other chickens (generally before being repeatedly pecked). I bent over and picked her up without a chase, flinch, or even a squawk, and carried her back to the run.
I wouldn't have guessed that chickens could "read my emotions", but I can't think of any other explanation. They have a very obvious body language with each other, but I don't have a neck to puff up or wings to push downwards to signal my mood. Are there any chicken whisperers out there who have learned what sort of body language chickens can pick up on? ...or do y'all think this was just a coincidence?