No rooster - the hens want to mate humans!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Henrik Petersson, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The two roosters of our thirteen-hen flock got mean, so we had them for dinner several months ago. A while after that, we noticed that some of the hens would rapidly squat down and slightly spread their wings when a human walked by closely - the ubiquitous mating behaviour of a hen. The thing that seemed to induce this the most was when a human tried to grab a hen. Since then, said behaviour has become more and more frequent, so that barely a day goes by without at least one hen doing the mating squat as we walk around the hens doing our daily business. It seemes to be rather evenly spread throughout the flock, no hen really does it more than another. And again, I can't remember us ever seeing this when we had rooster(s).

    Does anyone recognize this?
    Is it a problem? Are the hens lovesick?

    From our perspective, it's rather handy. Our chickens are a bit shy, and if they squat instead of running away it's practical when we need to catch them for whatever reason.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    That's totally normal especially if you don't have a rooster. It's also related to dominance.
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Most hens will do that IMO. It's one of the ways we can tell they are getting close to egg laying age. And as you noticed, makes them easier to catch.

    It does not mean they miss mating or want to mate with a human. It is just a natural response. And as noted is also about dominance sometimes. See my hens doing it, the lower on the pecking order is the one that squats... not to mate but as a sign of submission.

    The hens are not love sick and this is not a problem. [​IMG]

    Also, if you need to catch your birds to check or treat for something, they do not run away once they have gone to roost and settled down for the evening. With my flock of 50+, we go in with a flash light and do what we need to shortly after dark. Easy peasy, NO chasing!
     
  4. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!
     
  5. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's totally normal, all hens do it if there isn't a Roo. To them that means humans are the dominant ones.
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    My hens do it even with a rooster around.

    But some of them won't, they just lower their legs and continue to scoot out from under my hand. [​IMG] I agree totally normal.
     
  7. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, mine do it even with the Roo around too.
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's extremely handy... all my pullets squat in reaction to us reaching down and it means we don't have to chase them around for anything, even when they escape the run.
     
  9. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is definitely handy!
     
  10. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    3 of my girls escaped the run a couple of weeks ago and they did not squat when I walked towards them. They were so happy to find fresh grazing they stayed out of reach. I had to corner them. Yet in the run all but one squat. Raggedy Ann does not squat, she runs away, she's the girl who was attacked by a coopers hawk. GC
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017

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