chickens standing stock-still

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mehzibus, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. mehzibus

    mehzibus Out Of The Brooder

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    I was sitting with my three chooks in the backyard yesterday afternoon. All three birds were happily browsing on the lawn. One chook made a cluck, only slightly different to an ordinary 'cluck', and all three FROZE in place. They held that position for at least three minutes. They were all gazing in the same direction.

    Any ideas ? I thought not a sky predator, as they always run to cover in that circumstance, they do the same with any unfamiliar noise. They remained in the open and didn't move even when I started moving about, looking for what might have caused the alarm.

    I live in a very suburban house, surrounded by other houses with small back yards.

    I would love to hear your ideas ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  2. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sure it was some type of predator whether avian or other that they saw and you didn't. Just went through a similar thing. I was leaning into the coop with a large audience and one of my buffs was outside the run doing the alarm bawk and got every body's attention. My rooster was mimicking her call. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a big Redtail flying off from a tree in my yard. Fortunately I have not had a problem with hawks as of yet. Don't know if it's the orange snow fence that I have circle around the coop area that spooks them from attacking or not.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Oh, definitely they heard or saw something that alarmed them.

    I spend quite a lot of time with my chickens, sometimes just sitting and watching them, usually with one or three in my lap. Suddenly, one will utter a very low, one or three or five-note phrase, and everyone will stop, freeze, and all will go completely silent. It may last from ten seconds to fifteen, and then one by one, they'll return to normal activity.

    Sometimes, I will be able to determine the sound or motion that alarmed them. Like last summer when the rooster uttered a low, five-note phrase and everyone froze. It was so scary, I went to the gate, opened it, and there was a sow bear not fifteen feet from me. I just had time to duck back into the pen before she charged.

    It still scares me to tell the story. But now when the chickens sense something is out there, I listen even more carefully.
     
  4. mehzibus

    mehzibus Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. Tthe only thing I could think of was a snake. There are a couple of areas of bush close to our street, and a few houses have had red belly blacks, or green tree snakes... . I'll be more careful when opening their coop.
     
  5. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does not always have to be a predator either I should add. Although I might not see it as one but perhaps they do. Last spring I was down at the coop doing coop chores and I look and all of them are staring over to the edge of the property that abuts a wooded area. I thinking OK they see a coyote or something but it was a deer just cruising along the border of the yard. They saw it as a threat, they never had seen one before so i can see that. Now when the deer come into the yard they don't even look up from what they are doing. I watched 2 deer walk along the edge of their pen and run and they never batted an eye but the deer were truly intrigued by them. One day my Rooster was screaming for 40 minutes so I sent my son to see what was going on. He comes back and reports that there was a flock of wild turkeys across the road foraging about. So I guess it could have been pretty much anything that put them on alert.

    The snakes better watch out for the chickens, unless they are huge snakes.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  6. mehzibus

    mehzibus Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. Wow ! Deer, I guesse you live in a very beautiful place with lots of space.

    Snakes : Really, a young chook (pullet, almost ready to lay, I think) can deal with a snake ? That's a relief, but still a little scary.
     
  7. Starlight 451

    Starlight 451 Out Of The Brooder

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    Things are always scaring the chickens. It's nothing to be alarmed about, it doesn't even necessarily have to be a predator. Sometimes they stand still and listen when the neighbour starts his lawn mower. [​IMG]
     

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