My 7 1/2 week old pullets (BA, 2BOs, & red star) have been in our kitchen since they came to us @ 2 days old. They have seen all kinds of different people, animals & objects, heard noises of all kinds with, at most, a curious turn of their heads (I'm clumsy so they hear things drop , break and even heard the smoke detector .... (dinner gone wrong ) . Early this morning, though, I walked through the kitchen carrying a large exercise ball and 1 (Luna, the australorp) who was on her bar roosting, FREAKED out and tried to full-out fly away, crashing into the top and sides of the brooder (modified XL dog crate) and creating a panic among the rest of the girls. About an hour ago, I tried to "sneak" it past them to put it away and they ALL freaked out, wood shaving (and feather ) were all over..... They seem to be fine (no blood or limping, they are just all "on guard" head and tails up and SUPER alert) but I thought it was SOO weird that a large ball would scare them so badly!!! Anybody have any idea why an exercise ball would freak them out so much???? I would have thought maybe the vacuum would cause a reaction like that but not a ball?!??!?!