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Ruffled neck feathers, what does it mean?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65891_prefight_1499.jpg

These girls (at least we think they are girls) are two of three NH Reds that are about nine weeks old. They get along fine most of the time, they snuggle up in the coop either on the floor or on their perch but when we let them out into the run they run around chasing each other and sometimes one of them ruffles its neck feathers like this. What does it mean? After they do that they settle down in harmony again until nightfall when they go back into the coop and we latch the doors. We let them out around 2 or 3pm and sunset is about 9.00 as we are in the southern hemisphere.
Thanks for any comments.

Three New Hampshires: Lucy turned out to be Lucas so was traded in. New names for all are Eenie, Meenie and Mynie. All three laying as of June 16 2011.
Also Wekas (woodhens) chicken-sized flightless birds endemic to New Zealand and Pukekos (blue swamp hens). Both of those birds are comical pests but they peacefully co-exist with our girls.
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Three New Hampshires: Lucy turned out to be Lucas so was traded in. New names for all are Eenie, Meenie and Mynie. All three laying as of June 16 2011.
Also Wekas (woodhens) chicken-sized flightless birds endemic to New Zealand and Pukekos (blue swamp hens). Both of those birds are comical pests but they peacefully co-exist with our girls.
Reply
post #2 of 14

It's all chicken sparring... has to do with "pecking order" and if they are only 9 weeks, the one on the left may be a roo.

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahonri 

It's all chicken sparring... has to do with "pecking order" and if they are only 9 weeks, the one on the left may be a roo.


thumbsup X2
i have 4 about the same age & 1 is a roo the others are pullets & the roo does this to the girls & they just walk away from him. the girls fly at each other & have a bit of a set to but it doesnt come to fluffing up or anything like that.
but in your pic the one fluffed up does look like a roo he has very red comb & wattles compared to the other one so im thinking its 90% roo
also has pointy tail & feathers so make that 95% roo..


Edited by Raven81 - 12/7/10 at 1:22am
"Happiness is a journey not a destination. Work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like no one's watching."
http://s1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff371/Rav3n81/
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"Happiness is a journey not a destination. Work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like no one's watching."
http://s1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff371/Rav3n81/
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post #4 of 14

oh & welcome-byc from a fellow nzer

"Happiness is a journey not a destination. Work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like no one's watching."
http://s1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff371/Rav3n81/
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"Happiness is a journey not a destination. Work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like no one's watching."
http://s1232.photobucket.com/albums/ff371/Rav3n81/
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post #5 of 14

It is chicken sparring and development of a social structure.  Not so sure they are pullets.hide  The bird to the left I'm betting is a cockerel, and the other looks suspicious.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #6 of 14

That's a GREAT photo of a pecking order challenge!

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

Reply
post #7 of 14

Like a dog who hair stands up along it's back and neck, or a cat who puffs out it's fur and archs it's back, it's all about trying to look bigger and meaner, when in a confrontation, or a possible threat is detected. In the animal kingdom it could mean life or death, as to how mean one looks.

I know my Wife looks bigger and meaner, when she is mad at me..duc  lol

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/thumbs/65891_chickens_1538.jpg

The breeder came by and saw the rooster. A few days later he exchanged the roo for a pullet. The girls are a lot more mellow now, it's funny how their group personality changed.

Three New Hampshires: Lucy turned out to be Lucas so was traded in. New names for all are Eenie, Meenie and Mynie. All three laying as of June 16 2011.
Also Wekas (woodhens) chicken-sized flightless birds endemic to New Zealand and Pukekos (blue swamp hens). Both of those birds are comical pests but they peacefully co-exist with our girls.
Reply
Three New Hampshires: Lucy turned out to be Lucas so was traded in. New names for all are Eenie, Meenie and Mynie. All three laying as of June 16 2011.
Also Wekas (woodhens) chicken-sized flightless birds endemic to New Zealand and Pukekos (blue swamp hens). Both of those birds are comical pests but they peacefully co-exist with our girls.
Reply
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by yankiwi 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/65891_prefight_1499.jpg

These girls (at least we think they are girls) are two of three NH Reds that are about nine weeks old. They get along fine most of the time, they snuggle up in the coop either on the floor or on their perch but when we let them out into the run they run around chasing each other and sometimes one of them ruffles its neck feathers like this. What does it mean? After they do that they settle down in harmony again until nightfall when they go back into the coop and we latch the doors. We let them out around 2 or 3pm and sunset is about 9.00 as we are in the southern hemisphere.
Thanks for any comments.


I use the term "raising hackles" since that is the type feathers involved.  Plays out in multiple contexts.  Rank determnation and challenges, play and part of typical chicken combat.

Raised hackles makes the displaying animal appear larger.  Males and more mature birds typically have larger hackles.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

I wonder how many words or terms in common English usage are poultry related? Pecking order, raising hackles, flying the coop, cooped up--there must be lots more.

Three New Hampshires: Lucy turned out to be Lucas so was traded in. New names for all are Eenie, Meenie and Mynie. All three laying as of June 16 2011.
Also Wekas (woodhens) chicken-sized flightless birds endemic to New Zealand and Pukekos (blue swamp hens). Both of those birds are comical pests but they peacefully co-exist with our girls.
Reply
Three New Hampshires: Lucy turned out to be Lucas so was traded in. New names for all are Eenie, Meenie and Mynie. All three laying as of June 16 2011.
Also Wekas (woodhens) chicken-sized flightless birds endemic to New Zealand and Pukekos (blue swamp hens). Both of those birds are comical pests but they peacefully co-exist with our girls.
Reply
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