Odd Hen behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Richards hens, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Richards hens

    Richards hens New Egg

    Aug 20, 2010
    I am new to having hens arround and recently 3 of my girls began exhibiting some strange behavior. When ever i am walking towards them they stop squat, duck their heads and shrug their shoulders out so i pick them up and carry them arround for a bit and when i put them back down they go back to their usual selves. I will admit it does make rounding them up out of the garden when its time for bed easier. All but one of these girls just started laying about 2 weeks ago arround the time that the behavior began.
  2. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    That is commonly referred to as the "egg squat". This means that the hens see you as the rooster and are submitting to you, and it means they were close to laying when they started.
  3. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Yep, not odd at all. Very normal.
  4. muddypuddles

    muddypuddles Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    Its the ONLY way I can catch mine [​IMG] Thank heavens for the egg squat! [​IMG]
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I feel honored by the hens squatting for me. I always give them a gentle skritch on the back of their necks and down between their shoulder blades, then a pat on their backs. They stand back up, fluff up their feathers like it... well... "was good for them" -- and then they go on their happy little ways.
  6. Richards hens

    Richards hens New Egg

    Aug 20, 2010
    thanks everyone for the responses its nice to know that is completly normal it definatly makes catching the two leghorns easy.
  7. Mogli

    Mogli Chillin' With My Peeps

    i have 5 birds and 1 of them does that squating thing too when i walk into the run if shes close to me in the run when i reach my hands out to pretend to grab her she squats down right were she is then i pick her up and pet her
  8. bibkel

    bibkel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    I LOVE this board! I found my girls did this and I simply assumed they were being "protective" or mildly aggressive, as in "I am too big and scary for you to pick up so back off" .

    Now that I found THIS post, I am laughing. So I am their rooster eh? LOL, wonder what Elvis will think of that when it comes to mating time!

    I am so glad that this is normal submissive behavior. They do tend to peck at my jeans or my shoes hoping for a tasty morsel. They come running (again very funny to watch) when I have ANYTHING in my hands, including a camera.

    Now that I think about it, I have a question, when I pick them up, they fluff up their neck feathers. I smooth them down and soft talk to them, because I thought it was that mildly aggressive thing again. So the question (based on another couple threads I read) is are they fluffing up their neck feathers so I can grab them while I do my rooster duties? Is that what roosters will do, similar to cats? (glad I am not a cat or hen![​IMG])
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The pecking at jeans, shoes, just about anything, isn't aggressiveness; they have no other way to explore/investigate things (no hands, only beaks). Not sure about the fluffing up at the neck, although it doesn't sound like aggression. Mine fluff up when I put them down, or after I give them a pet when they squat. I've read that this fluff/shake would normally help move things along after mating so that the eggs could be fertilized. Maybe when you pick them up they're puffing neck feathers as if in preening??? Sounds logical anyway...lol [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010

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