Chicken hiding her head- light sensitive?

zoellemae

Chirping
Nov 27, 2011
20
2
76
Hi, I’ve had chickens for a while, but recently decided to raise chicks. They are now 6 weeks, but something seems strange with our blue production. I transfer her out of the brooder (along with all the chicks) and she started to freak out (erratic behavior). She buried her head in her feathers, tucking her head underneath her body and backing herself into a corner flailing. I picked her up and she buried her head in my arm- almost as if she was sensitive to the light. It’s happened a few times since throughout the day, but mostly when there’s increase in brightness (ie. shade to sun or a reflection off of something). She’s behavior seems strange, but she’s eating normally and her poop seems fine. She don’t seem too lethargic. Has anyone see anything like this before? Have any idea what’s going on? Looks like something neurological, but we aren’t sure.

Update (6/8/20): we put her in a crate and kept her in all night. When I turned on the light, she had a similar episode to before. I set on the lawn- eating, drinking, pooping, and energy all normal...But still hiding her head from direct sunlight. I’m thinking maybe a light induced seizure? Any thoughts?
 
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CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
760
1,427
236
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Strange ... Does she act that way the entire time or just when you first put her in the new space? Could just be the strangeness of the new space. I have a bunch of mini quilts I’ve made (cotton print fabric on one side, fleece on the other) to provide a soft warm spot for my Littles (they are three weeks old), and when I switch out their blankets then put them back in, they freeze up and make their little ‘what the h*ll is that?!’ grrrrring noise at it. It’s quite comical, but eventually they get used to the new pattern.

I’ve also had the young ones freak out about a slightly skewed wing feather or having something stuck to their foot, so you never know. But it does sound like yours isn’t liking the new light level. Any way you can dim it? Or maybe try to put her in there with the light off to see how she behaves?
 

zoellemae

Chirping
Nov 27, 2011
20
2
76
Strange ... Does she act that way the entire time or just when you first put her in the new space? Could just be the strangeness of the new space. I have a bunch of mini quilts I’ve made (cotton print fabric on one side, fleece on the other) to provide a soft warm spot for my Littles (they are three weeks old), and when I switch out their blankets then put them back in, they freeze up and make their little ‘what the h*ll is that?!’ grrrrring noise at it. It’s quite comical, but eventually they get used to the new pattern.

I’ve also had the young ones freak out about a slightly skewed wing feather or having something stuck to their foot, so you never know. But it does sound like yours isn’t liking the new light level. Any way you can dim it? Or maybe try to put her in there with the light off to see how she behaves?
Strange ... Does she act that way the entire time or just when you first put her in the new space? Could just be the strangeness of the new space. I have a bunch of mini quilts I’ve made (cotton print fabric on one side, fleece on the other) to provide a soft warm spot for my Littles (they are three weeks old), and when I switch out their blankets then put them back in, they freeze up and make their little ‘what the h*ll is that?!’ grrrrring noise at it. It’s quite comical, but eventually they get used to the new pattern.

I’ve also had the young ones freak out about a slightly skewed wing feather or having something stuck to their foot, so you never know. But it does sound like yours isn’t liking the new light level. Any way you can dim it? Or maybe try to put her in there with the light off to see how she behaves?

I originally thought maybe she had something sticky get stuck in her feather or something since it almost looked like she was fixated on something near her stomach. I have a good look and didn’t see anything. It could certainly be the unfamiliarity, since it seems to be change related. We actually moved them from inside to a coop outside (they are fully feathered and we have in souther ca so it’s warm). It was originally in the sun, but we ended up keeping them in the shade to see if that helped her. This strange behavior usually lasts for a few mins and stops, but generally her behavior has changed and she seems less integrate into the flock.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
760
1,427
236
San Luis Obispo County, CA
I originally thought maybe she had something sticky get stuck in her feather or something since it almost looked like she was fixated on something near her stomach. I have a good look and didn’t see anything. It could certainly be the unfamiliarity, since it seems to be change related. We actually moved them from inside to a coop outside (they are fully feathered and we have in souther ca so it’s warm). It was originally in the sun, but we ended up keeping them in the shade to see if that helped her. This strange behavior usually lasts for a few mins and stops, but generally her behavior has changed and she seems less integrate into the flock.
Huh. Yeah, I dunno what it could be. But if she‘s eating, drinking, and pooping, that’s always a good sign. Maybe someone else will have a better idea. Could also just be her special quirk. I have a hen who has learned how to purposely pick up water with her beak from the water bucket just to drip it onto the sand so she can eat the wet sand (she likes it, apparently), so you never know! Whatever it is, I hope it isn’t too serious and she turns out okay :love .
 

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