Evening cuddly hen?


9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
West Michigan
My girls are pretty lively, no matter the time of day, though they are more willing to "squat" first thing in the morning and just before they go into their coop.

However, this evening, one of my hens was far away from the rest of the flock, up near the back door. She drank some water from the bowl, then fluffed out her feathers farther than I've ever seen; the feathers just before her tail were lifted way off her back and she held her wings slightly away from her body. She walked normally, but then stopped and looked like she was falling asleep standing up.

I picked her up and was petting her on my lap (this bird's always been very friendly) and she tucked her head into my elbow and sighed! Another hen came running up to see if I had any treats and clucked, and this startled the hen on my lap and she wanted to be let down.

My question is; is this "falling asleep standing up" unusual? What about holding all her feathers far away from her body? She didn't have abnormal poop and her vent looked fine, no blood or pecking marks or bugs of any kind, and she's been active and eating normally all day. I'll be keeping a closer watch on her the next few days. Chicken antics are funny; maybe she was just tired and ready to go to bed?
I am interested in the replies. My rooster does that too. He stops and sort of spreads out and often just lies down on his side. I would think there is something wrong with him except he's been doing it for weeks and if I walk up to him he pops up and walks away. Boy does he look exhausted though. He mostly does it in the sun, so I've assumed he's sunbathing, but I am new to chickens so have pretty much just made that up:D.

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