All fluffed up and defensive - strange chook behaviour

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by roseoreilly, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. roseoreilly

    roseoreilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2013
    Hi,

    Just wondering if anyone could help explain why one of my hens may be doing this ...

    I have 3 hens, two Australorps and one Rhode Island red. Yesterday evening my largest hen, one of the Australorps, went into the coop alone about an hour before sundown and sat up on the high perch. When I went in to check on her, she fluffed all of her feathers, tail and wings - fluffed up much larger than I have ever seen her before. She looked me in the eye (she was slightly above my eye level) and started making defensive 'back off' calls. She looked awkward and I began to worry if she was ill. After a while of doing this, I decided to check if she was sick or injured so i took her off the perch - to much protest. She then joined the others outside eating and behaving as normal. What's going on? It's late spring here in Australia so I'm wondering if this behaviour may be to do with broodiness? I should note that she is the alpha chook (I have no roosters). Can someone let me know what may be going on with her? Thanks for your help and suggestions...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It does sound like she may be going broody. If you peek at her breast bone and notice balding on either side of it, then our guess will be confirmed. She's plucking her feathers to prepare for a bout of egg sitting.
     
  3. roseoreilly

    roseoreilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2013
    Thanks very much for this - I'll check when i get home...cheers [​IMG]
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    X2 she could be thinking about going broody, sometimes they will do the fluffy puffy act before they actually start to brood eggs. She could also have already gone in for the night (some of my older hens especially will roost an hour before dark) and decided you were scary or a threat for some reason and was trying to scare you off.
     
  5. roseoreilly

    roseoreilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2013
    Thanks for your comments. I'm still at work so haven't had a chance to check her feathers yet. I usually go into the coop in the evening to check everyone's 'tucked in' for the night, and she's never behaved like that to me before (she's approx 10 months old). I do like the expression 'fluffy puffy' though! Must work that into my vocabulary! Cheers.
     
  6. roseoreilly

    roseoreilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2013
    Update: Yes, she's gone broody! Still fluffy puffy and now sitting on eggs all day. I felt under her tum and she has removed feathers. All I need now is a rooster! Thanks for your help. [​IMG]
     
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad your issue was solved. Now you can find some fertile eggs for her!
     
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Glad that is all it was. X2 looks like you get to find some fertile eggs. If you decide to break her of being broody instead of giving her eggs, you might as well start now since they can sit for a long time if no chicks hatch.
     

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