In the Brooder
Sep 4, 2015
Nova Scotia
Ok, so I'm relatively new to chickens but two things are happening in the coop that I don't understand:

1. This is what sometimes happens when I enter the half of the coop that contains two leghorn hens who are a few years old: One of them freezes and spreads its wings out a bit, head down, not facing me, and even when I very gently take my foot to press against it to encourage it to move out of the way, it just stands there, feet planted, in that odd position for about 20 seconds, then goes back to normal. It just started doing this. What is this behavior?


2. At night, and this just started recently, when I shut in the the three hens (two leghorns on one side of coop and meat king, Coconut, on the other side), they start acting kinda crazy. One of the leghorns 'flew' up and clung to the wire mesh divider for a few seconds. They are walking around, extended necks, reaching way up, like there is something in the air to get...like a bug. But I don't see bugs or feel them on me. Coconut walks to the corners of her side of the coop and gets right up to the corner with her chest and raises her head really high...reaching for the corner, repeatedly. They get so restless and it's really odd to see. I usually just leave the room...ha ha. This behavior just started about a week ago and it's only at night.

Any ideas? Thanks! : )
Video of the behavior at night would be helpful. Why are they divided? The first behavior is the bird squatting for you. It's a submissive behavior and she is looking to be bred. If you want to give her a thrill, give a bit of a firm feather massage on her back at the base of her tail. She will then get up and shake her feathers and continue on with her chicken business with a big smile on her face. If she's not currently laying, she will be very soon.

That's very interesting...thank you. They are divided because the laying hens do not like the meat king hen. I know if I put them together they will adapt after the fighting and pecking order is established, but honestly, I just don't need to combine them as space is not an issue, nor am I getting more hens right now, and I don't want to stress them out, (in particular, the meat king, who let's face it, is on borrowed time anyway). She, the meat king, Coconut, is very happy being alone on her side and gets lots of attention from me. the only time she cares about the other side of the coop is when I'm over there and not in with her...ha ha! I guess she truly does like me. Anyway, it seems to be working for all right now. Thank you again for your explanation of the squatting behavior! : )
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