Chicken knew to play dead?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mewithoutashley, May 18, 2009.

  1. mewithoutashley

    mewithoutashley Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2009
    Mobile, Al
    So this is my first post =]

    Well last night after we went to bed we heard our chickens screaming, well the rooster has taken to trying to mate the girls and we thought thats what it was till they started screaming in a different way. We ran outside and saw our dog had climbed the fench (its a eight foot fence who would have thought....) and had one of my hens who i raised from a bittie in his mouth and i was sure he was dead because his neck was bent to the side and he had stopped screaming and we got the dog out of the way and i picked him up and he popped right up.

    So do chickens know to play dead when thier in danger? I tried to look over the internet but could find nothing on it. Has anyone elses chickens ever done this?

    Thankfully my chicken was alright. All the others one ran into the house we have for them so all of them were ok =]

  2. chickenlover50010

    chickenlover50010 Kernal Fan Club Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    South Jersey
    Sorry, but i have no idea if chickens can play dead, but that is pretty cool that your did!! He must be very smart =]

    P.S: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. stairman

    stairman New Egg

    Apr 12, 2009
    I'm not sure it's playing dead. But i was told a long time ago from someone who raised chicken's, there is a nerve in their neck that when pinched will paralize them for a few minutes. (Why I believe this to be true. ) I had a dog that killed one of my chickens or I thought he did. I dug the hole, put the chicken in the hole, it made a noise, but I thought it was just from the air leaving it's body when I was throwing shovels full of dirt on top. Two days later dog did the same thing. I was so mad, I put the dog in the house so I could go dig my hole. I came back to get the chicken, she was up running around like nothing ever happened. I then took pause and thought OMG , what if I had buried the other chicken alive. It's a little humorus now but back then I beat myself up pretty bad about it. I really hope that chicken was already dead.
  4. Missouri chick

    Missouri chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    Homer, GA
    I was watching Americas Funniest Videos and saw a duck play dead. The dog was trying to get it and it flopped over. As soon as the dog was gone it hopped up and ran away. All in all it was pretty funny. Poor dog couldn't figure it out....
  5. LovinMyHensInNC!

    LovinMyHensInNC! Chillin' With My Peeps

    My guinea hen played dead when some stray dogs got into our yard. I think one of the dogs actually got a hold of her before she "played dead" because latter I found her feathers all over the place. By the time I got outside from hearing all the commotion, she was laying on her back on the ground... I thought she was seriously hurt (her eyes were open) but when I picked her up, she jumped out of my hands and went running off!!! No apparent injuries!
  6. CodyChristine

    CodyChristine Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 11, 2008
    Belle Plaine, MN
    My dog was chasing our rooster around this weekend and backed him into a corner and darned if the rooster didn't play dead too. I thought my dog had killed him and I called the dog out of the barn. The rooster was just sitting there in the corner with his head down and butt up in the air. I was trying to get our little boy out of the barn because if the rooster was dead, I didn't want him to see it and within a minute or two, the rooster came walking out!
  7. steve2495

    steve2495 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2009
    Lake Forest Illinois
    thats crazy. ive nvr seen anything like that. mayb they fainted or something
  8. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Those are some really smart birds! I don't know if they play dead either, but, it sure worked, right? Oh, by the way.......................................
    [​IMG] from S. Florida.
  9. lelisabeth

    lelisabeth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Elverson, Pennsylvania
    They could just be stunned. My cat caught two little birds one day and left them on my back porch. One was still breathing but not moving, and its neck was at a weird angle. I felt guilty that my cat had hurt one and killed one, so I put it in a box and rushed it to the vet. By the time I got there I heard it moving in the box. Opened the box and it flew away!

    Don't get me wrong, not that I don't think your chickens are smart enough to play dead. Mine aren't though. Mine was on the wrong side of a 2.5' long section of ornamental fence today and couldn't figure out how to get through it. Even though she had just walked around it... [​IMG]
  10. mewithoutashley

    mewithoutashley Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2009
    Mobile, Al
    Thanks for all the answers!

    I'm building a new coop this wkend so it can't happen again!

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