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chickens trying to land on me, what does this mean?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicken_smitten, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. chicken_smitten

    chicken_smitten New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2011
    A little background. I have 2 9wk barred rock pullets. Stayed in the brooder for 5 weeks then into the coop for the last 4 weeks. The coop is a large chicken ark with a 6'x6' footprint so the chicken run is underneath the coop. I don't need to open and close a door twice a day.

    We started letting them out into the yard for about 15 minutes right before bed 4 nights ago. When they come out in the yard, they stick close by us, within about 10 feet. They are comfortable standing very close to us, just don't like being touched. Every evening, they walk up to one of us and crane their neck out and then fly right at us. They have done it when we are both sitting on the ground and standing up. We've learned that if we stick our hand out towards them when we notice them about to do it, they will stop.

    Is it a dominating move? Are they scared and want to feel more secure? Are they being aggressive?
    What does it mean?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Everyday, at about dusk, chickens transition into roosting mode. I do not know if it is driven by hormones or not but it is influenced externally by light levels. They begin looking for either a friendly location such as mother hen (when young) or elevated location with friendlies (flock mates / mom). In you situation it is your head and eyes they recognize. So as they go into roosting mode the want to fly up and be next to your head. Sometimes birds that are otherwise frightened by you will do same. For me I need to be relatively still for this to occur. My pet game rooster still does same and no aggression involved.
     
  3. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Virginia
    Quote:X2 - They just want roost on you. They're not trying to attack you at all. I have a young rooster who likes to fly up and sit on my shoulder or arm, and I used to have an Old English Game Bantam hen who would fly up on my knees, back, or shoulder and sit to get attention.
     
  4. Velvet Hairpiece

    Velvet Hairpiece Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    I have a BR pullet who does this. Mrs. T Bottom is very sweet, and when she was younger I loved that she did it. When she first started, she had to kind of run up my "lady shelf" cause that's all the higher she could jump. Now that she's almost 10 weeks old I don't like it as much cause she's getting big, and I don't like when she poops on me! Still though, it's clear her intentions are not malicious. She just wants to be up high. She peeps so contentedly while hanging out next to my head I usually just let her stay. It's sweet. Also, she does this regardless of what time it is. Anytime is shoulder-roosting time for her! At least she gives the neck craning warning though, and I can just back away if I don't want the company.
     
  5. Hiram

    Hiram Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Although I'm a 4 month old newbie, I've experienced this too. I mean chickens that normally wouldn't let me touch them would come at me at dusk. I took it as a sign of security. One benefit was that it made it easier to get them back into the coop.
     
  6. Afterburner

    Afterburner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Vancouver, WA
    My EE does that every night. She takes turns walking on shoulders and even runs her beak through my hair. That is perfectly normal behavior. Don't ask me why they do it. My EE also won't let me tough her. Though she'll eat out of my hand, all the food I giver her.
     
  7. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    The first couple of days in the coop and some of the ladies could not figure out to go from the run to the coop at dusk. They huddled in the run in a corner and were peeping like crazy. I shooed them into the coop, closed the pop door and figured I would go inside the coop to comfort them. When I went in and turned on a flashlight they flew at me and were trying to hang on my shirt, arms and anywhere else. I sat down on the roost with two on one shoulder, one in my lap and the others trying to climb on. I though it was the cutest thing. took about 10 minutes to calm them down and put them on their roosts. They did this for a couple more nights. Flying at my chest I was able to grab them in my arms and place them on my shoulders. Now they just go in hop on the roost and don't need to fly on me anymore.

    You can tell when they are about to fly at you by the way they stretch out their neck and look like they are about to leap. Gives you time to get prepared.

    Have fun with the things they do, and enjoy the fact they are looking to you as their protector and part of the family.
     
  8. chicken_smitten

    chicken_smitten New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2011
    Thanks for the replies! I let them go ahead and jump up on me last night while I was sitting in a chair. Once my daughter saw them do it, she wasn't afraid of them trying to jump on her anymore. I was so worried the first evening we let them out that they would run away so we sat on a blanket in the grass next to the coop and sat still so we wouldn't spook them. I know everyone said they wouldn't run but it was still nerve-wracking to let them out the first time. Now I wander around the yard tending to things and they follow me. Very cute!
     

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