Convalescing chicken purrs when we leave the room

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BeckySue, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. BeckySue

    BeckySue Chirping

    Our three-year-old Red Star, Evelyn, has been in the chickie hospital for almost two weeks now. She had an impacted/sour crop and with lots of vinegar water (2 tbsp/gal) and lots of TLC, she's starting to feel better. We started her on antibiotics two days ago because she was still had a fever. I think the worst of it is over.

    It's her vocalizations that prompted me to post. Whenever either of us, my husband or me, leave the room, she purrs at us. We've heard her hawk growl, and this noise is softer. We turn to her and quietly say, "I'll be back, don't worry." And she'll purr at us again. As long as we respond to her, she'll keep talking to us.

    I had read that the purring in a flock sometimes is used to keep the flock together. This is a common behavior in wild turkey. Has anyone else experienced this type of vocalization? She's been so sick, I'm hoping it's not a distress call, like, "Don't leave me, I don't feel very well at all!"
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The trill, which sounds like purring, is the sound of a contented or at least comfortable and unafraid chicken. Remember, chickens are flock animals and get very lonely without companionship.

    Trilling for a person is, in my experience, a sign of trust. You and your husband are part of her flock, so it's no surprise she is communicating with you. :love
  3. Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy when a hen does that. You know in your heart that she is saying she is content...bravo. You are family now :)
    I have dedicated my upper half of my barn as a husbandry come spring just for my broody hens to rest in peace and hatch out their clutches. I have a few of my girls who are faithful setters, silkies, bramas,etc. I do force them to take breaks so they don't wear themselves out...
    Anyways I talk to all my birds, whistle while I work and have a radio that plays 24/7 for the girls and boys to listen to. I will come up to my good setters on their nests and pet them on the back and head just for the continuous bonding that we have between us. Each and every one does the purr thing for me as well . They crouch down, close their eyes, lower the head and raise their tail feathers as I pet them. For every stroke I give them I get that little purr every time...

    I agree with you totally when you have those purrs come out. You get to tell yourself, hey I am doing something right here, aren't I.
    Good to see stories like that... Steve
  4. jklyles1

    jklyles1 Songster

    Jan 21, 2013
    My Red Star does the same thing. I almost hate leaving her...its so cute!
  5. BeckySue

    BeckySue Chirping

    Evelyn has been back with the flock almost two weeks now and unfortunately, she no longer trills at me. The first few days when she was back in the coop, if she and I were alone in the yard, she'd trill. But not anymore. It's like she's saying, "No, Mom. Not cool around my friends!"

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