Bizarre thing my chickens just did???

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chickiechick72, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. chickiechick72

    chickiechick72 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am thrown for a loop after what my chickens just did. I have 5 Rhode Island Reds, and in the four months we have had them, I have not seen anything like this. I am hoping someone can give me a clue what this is all about.

    My girls were just scratching around in the yard like normal. Four of them usually hang together, and one will just do her own thing. So my four girls had just walked out of the garden onto the patio, with Bonnie ahead and three others behind. All of a sudden, they just STOPPED and STARED all in the same direction, looking toward the corner of the yard, and all started making this loud, "purring" noise that I have never heard them make. (I looked but didn't see any kind of animal in that corner, nothing that got my attention). Meanwhile, the 5th chicken came running across the yard to join the group. When she got to the patio, she just stopped and stared, also, and she also seemed to be making the purring noise. At the same time, I could hear a plane flew overhead, but this was not out of the ordinary and was not particularly loud, either. so I had no clue if anything could be provoking them.

    This was so strange. They held their pose for a solid 4+ minutes. Normally they scratch and walk around doing whatever, but ALL 5 OF THEM stayed motionless, together, doing this purring noise. It was loud and a constant hum, even though normally they all make slightly different sounds amongst each other. Bonnie was in front and seemed to be leading the group, and from where I stood on the deck I could see when she purred her bottom feathers would stick out, like she was flexing her butt muscles. Yes, really!

    Then at some point, Bonnie did a quick shake of the head and I saw her blink, and I guess the spell was over. They all looked around and got back to looking for bugs and stuff. This was so bizarre. I knew I was getting mosquito bites but I couldn't stop watching because it was just unreal. I haven't posted anything yet on Backyard Chickens but I have got to know what this was all about! Someone, please help!
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Believe it or not but this is actually common behavior. The purring is a warning sound which means "I spy something potentially dangerous." When a chicken makes this, all the other chickens stop, stare and act frozen.

    Your birds probably saw a hawk or other bird which gave them concern. When the couldn't see it anymore, they snapped out of it.

    This is normal so don't worry!:)
     
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  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. I have heard of chickens humming or purring when their attention is strongly focused on something, although I have not observed this behavior in my own flocks. Perhaps some type of sound or movement nearby held their attention that you were not aware of. Please feel free to ask any more questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your RIRs.
     
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  4. chickiechick72

    chickiechick72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    Oh thanks so much!
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    X3 This purring is a warning to the flock to be aware that something may be lurking and get ready to take cover. Perfectly normal.

    Great to have you aboard and welcome to our flock!
     
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  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
     
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  8. Bark-Loud

    Bark-Loud Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2014
    This is good to know! I have not heard my girls purr yet but at least I will know what is going on when it happens!
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    That really sounds spooky [​IMG] - who knows what goes on in a chicken's mind or even if they have serious thoughts at all. [​IMG] That's what makes watching them so interesting.
     
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