Chicken Affection?

bcorps

Chirping
Jul 13, 2020
73
164
86
SW Indiana
You know, my chickens preen themselves A LOT. But I never see them pay any attention to each other whatsoever.

I am a parrot guy first, and I have to say, parrots are ALWAYS grooming each other affectionately. I suppose it strengthens their flock bonds and what not.

So it makes me curious as to why they respond the way they do to chicken-human cuddling. After everybody settled down last night, I literally made a couple of them fall asleep in my lap. All of my young hens and even my favorite rooster just LOVE to get their necks scratched. Apparently, chicken cheeks are one of their "slip into a coma" zones too. Even my rooster that doesn't trust me any more (because I submitted him for biting me), can't help but nod off when I'm talking softly to him and scratching his jaw.

It all just seems very strange to me if they never are affectionate to each other.
 

Silkielee

Songster
Aug 18, 2019
354
669
161
Australia
Well they don't have human hands to give each other a nice pat like we can give them but they do kinda show affection by helping preen each other in the dust bath or rooster finding tasty treats for his hens and then holding it in his mouth for her to take off him
Pic roo with corn making clucking noise calling over Chickaletta who plucks it straight from his beak
IMG20200927112347~2.jpg
Helping dust bathe IMG20200820132055_1.jpg
 

cherylwillard1

Songster
Feb 20, 2014
43
72
114
I have an orpington hen that just recently started laying. She doesn't pay any of the other chickens any mind except her "man". Her "man" happens to be a gorgeous white Leghorn with an impressively red comb and wattle. However, since she started laying 3 days ago, she LOVES for me to stroke her back and nuzzle her. Up to this points, she's been stand off ish and shy. She does get jealous when I hold her "man", and pecks at any body part she can get to on me. :D How weird is that?
 

bhawk-23

Chirping
Apr 12, 2020
105
53
76
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
I'm super jealous over here! I have no clue why but my hens don't like to be picked up or cuddled. We can pick them up but they are not huge fans. I do have a black australorp who is starting to sit for a few minutes and close her eyes when I pet her but still no longer than 5 min TOPS. They run up to me, talk non stop and follow me everywhere. But just don't like physical affection:hitWill that ever change??
 

bcorps

Chirping
Jul 13, 2020
73
164
86
SW Indiana
I'm super jealous over here! I have no clue why but my hens don't like to be picked up or cuddled. We can pick them up but they are not huge fans. I do have a black australorp who is starting to sit for a few minutes and close her eyes when I pet her but still no longer than 5 min TOPS. They run up to me, talk non stop and follow me everywhere. But just don't like physical affection:hitWill that ever change??
Maybe it's just an individual personality thing. But my chicks don't really like to be "picked up" either. They will squawk and complain a little too. What I'm talking about is me putting my hand out, palm up, and them just hopping on. They know that outstretched hand means some lovin' is on the way.
 

bhawk-23

Chirping
Apr 12, 2020
105
53
76
East Central Illinois (Urbana, IL)
If I have an outstretched hand with no treats they just look really confused. Hahahha
We don't force it. And I do have a couple that will jump in my lap for treats but as soon as I try to pet them they jump down. I keep holding out hope that it will change eventually.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,516
23,213
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Maybe it's not outright affection but I do see my hens grooming each other, picking bits of debris off one another, etc I think they're more interested in eating whatever's on the other bird, but the bird being groomed will usually stand still and close their eyes, so they do seem to enjoy the attention. They also seem to have preferred grooming partners, so certain birds will groom specific other ones.
 

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