Chickens 'kissing' eachother?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EllaM, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. EllaM

    EllaM Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2013
    Hi everyone
    One of my chickens appears to be 'kissing' the other around its face area.
    Both are rescue chickens from the battery (but we own 3 other non ex-battery
    chickens.) The chicken which is being 'kissed' is extremely ill with peritonitis or ascites
    and we plan to put her down in the coming few days because of her terrible state.
    She is so unbalanced by the swelling in her abdomen she cannot stand normally but
    appears to be standing upright. She has trouble walking and is always hungry/thirsty.
    However, she does not have lice or a skin condition that might possibly lead to
    the other chicken 'kissing' her. The 'kissing' is actually a light pecking around her
    beak and eyes that appears to not be hurting her at all. We have noticed that when
    she is being 'kissed' she closes her eyes (is this a sign of fear or relaxation/pleasure????)
    The other 3 chickens often come to investigate what is going on and have a good
    look at the sick chicken's face to see if there is anything interesting on there.
    But those 3 non battery find nothing and then act confused at the others behavior.


    Does anyone know what this could be????[​IMG]

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    In series of photos you will see Steele being 'kissed' by various hens. No, they weren't saying , 'hey handsome', they were saying, 'who are you and why are you here?' Since he was a young rooster he submitted by closing his eyes and not moving.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Chickens challenge each other by doing this. It's the same thing as a poke in the ribs for people-or a fist in the face.

    Since your hen is ill, the other hens are challenging her position with the flock. Since she can't or won't fight she assumes the submissive posture of being perfectly still and avoid eye contact. If she moves her action could be interpreted as aggression and she may be attacked.



    Once Steele gained confidence, he simply avoided conflict by being 'bigger'.
    [​IMG]


    He avoids eye contact
    [​IMG]


    And ignores the irate hen by preening.
    [​IMG]


    He learned quickly not to mess with the hoard of hens-especially ones who are molting.
    [​IMG]


    I will warn you-healthy birds may cannibalize sick members of the flock- so keep an eye on your sick girl.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. EllaM

    EllaM Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2013
    Thank-you for that! We will make sure to keep a close eye on them.
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    You're welcome! And welcome to BYC!
     
  5. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

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    Jun 14, 2012
    Tasmania. Australia
    Chicken kissing is quite common, it starts when they are young. Your sick hen may command respect from others in the flock.
    [​IMG]
     

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