Do chickens play possum?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Casey3043, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Songster

    My mom let the three dogs out and one of the chickens was in the yard. Yes it was a Speckled Sussex. I have done everything I can to keep them out (see update on my post, Speckled Troublemakers from yesterday). Now I just check for chickens before letting the dogs out. Well she forgot, what can I say, she is 93, and they went roaring down to the fence and got Speckle. Mom came and got me, I was on the phone and hadn't heard anything. Dogs were called in. Speckle lying in a heap with feathers all over, eyes closed, legs sticking out, not moving.

    I didn't touch her, but went to get a plastic bag and a shovel. She was there about 10 minutes, absolutely motionless. I thought she was dead. When I went to touch her, she opened her eye and looked at me. I thought, OK she's alive. I went to get a box to put her in. Came back and she was up and walking. Then running. Couldn't catch her. Figured she couldn't be hurt too bad if she could still get away from me.

    She went back in with the others. I can't really see any injuries, just a lot of feathers pulled out. One bare patch on her shoulder. She is on the roost all hunkered down but still bright eyed. I decided to let her rest for the night and try to get a better look tomorrow.

    So do chickens do this to fool a predator, or was she in shock?

  2. User66184

    User66184 Songster

    Aug 23, 2010
    East Coast, Virgina
    Sorry Hunny, I Dont think Chickens Play Possum, [​IMG]

    If They Do, Ive Never Heard If They Have

  3. caralynnp

    caralynnp In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    I had this happen to me with a dog too, except the dog didn't even touch her she just went under the coop and played dead and we thought she had a stroke or something but when the coast was clear she came out. I hope your chicken isn't hurt too bad, it doesn't sound so.
  4. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I wouldn't have thought it, but just the other day I learned that chickens do play possum when they are really scared. Sounds like it was a smart move for your girl!
  5. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    I think they do. We had 2 roos that were competing for the hens and the 2nd roo was especially aggressive with them trying to show up the big guy I guess. I saw a couple of hens do that after "mating". Seemed like a wise move. Hope your hen is fine!
  6. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Songster

    Update: She seems fine today. I thought I was going to be burying a chicken today, but she has other ideas. I don't think she'll be flying over the fence again any time soon--lost too many flight feathers. Now about her sisters.........


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