Face nuzzling ... friendly gesture or itchy face? (pic included)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rizq, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008



    This is Lindy, a 5-week-old Silver Spangled Hamburg. She is a crazy chicken. Every time I open the top of the brooder she flies up onto my shoulder and sits there until I remove her. If I don't get the top of the brooder shut fast enough, the crazy little thing is right back up on my shoulder. Isn't she adorable??

    She'll sit up there and nibble at my ear and hair and then will rub my face with her head. She loves it when I stroke her back or her chest and she will "purr" to me until and while I pet her. Is the face rubbing an affectionate gesture? Or something else? Or do I just have a really weird chicken?
  2. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    I would say you have found yourself not only a pet but a buddy. [​IMG]

    You are one lucky girl.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Careful for eye pecks and for when they get larger or have a fresh pile of cecal poo on their feet! I start young on the little guys to NOT jump on me as it can be somewhat icky and dangerous!
  4. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    lol ... I already try to watch her closely so she stays away from my eyes.

    If I plan on letting her stay up there for longer than it takes for me to get her off, I put a towel on my shoulder ... just in case [​IMG]

    How would I teach her to stay down? If I take her off and put her back, she is right back up again. I can't open the brooder to even dump in a bit of feed without Lindy flying up for a visit. I do like it ... but I see where you are coming from. A full grown chicken flying up from the ground probably won't be a cute as a 5-week-old chick flying up from a waist-high brooder. But she is so content up there [​IMG] and she is the only one who seems to like me ... the others act like psycho crazy chicks to get away from me whenever I open the brooder (except the gimpy chick, but he has been handled more and doesn't get around as well as the others).
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Just block her jumping up. That's what I do. being higher than the others, or even you, can be a sign of dominance too, so something to just note. The nuzzling although cute now, if what I am imagining, is sometimes what older birds do to each other to hide under each other or shove each other off the roosts as adults.
  6. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    I wondered about that. Being relatively new to chickens, I am not familiar enough with chicken behavior to determine what her intent was. I know my dog does that (not to my face) when she is demanding petting (in a dominant way), but chickens are not dogs, obviously. This whole batch of chicks tends to behave very aggressively toward each other, pushing and shoving and flat out attacking another chick from behind in addition to the normal chest bumping behavior. None of our other chicks have been as mean to each other as this group is ... I call them the brat pack, lol.

    I'll definitely keep an eye on her and work on teaching her not to jump up. If she wants to be petted, I would be happy to pick her up and pet her. She doesn't need to get the idea that she is the top hen in MY hen house (if she is a hen ... I think so, but can't tell for sure yet) [​IMG]
  7. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Do you let her out a lot? Or is her only chance at getting out when she is on your shoulder? Let her get out and move around the room, (on papers? or after a fresh poo, when the tanks are empty!) She may just be stir crazy!

    We had some young hens that did the same affectionate nuzzling, I think they were trying to find a wing to get under! One little girl did it so persistantly that she would get all tangled up in my hair that she had pulled down out of the ponytail! Sheesh! eventually they settled down to sleep. I honestly think that they were just doing the baby/mommie bonding that cant be done in a brooder, and these ladies are now some of my favorite out in the yard. I let them hop up to my shoulder by invite only. If they come uninvited, I wiggle and squirm out from under them, and they learned real quick!

    Good Luck, and enjoy!

    Here is little Stevie Wonder, Sleeping.
  8. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    My husband taught his mini roos to fly up to this shoulder, now that's where they think they belong! One of them has figured out people are heated perches so he's the really persistent one. He even figured out how to snuggle down into the hoods of our jackets so he can hav ea warm nappy spot that carries him from snakc spot to snack spot.
  9. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2008
    Quote:aww, silly chicken! [​IMG]
  10. gapeachy

    gapeachy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2008
    Rome Ga
    thats so cute, but it might scare me a little bit....mine have not done that but I dont have babies either....

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