Odd running behaviour..?


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 19, 2014
I didn't get much info out of google other than 'headless chickens running around...with wings flapping'. Mine still have heads!

Basically what they're doing is one of them (usually the blue) will put her head down slowly, and start running to the other end of the run (slowly at first) with her wings flapping. She's not chasing anyone away and hasn't seen a morsel of food. Usually, she'll just do it randomly. The other two frizzles then follow suit. Meanwhile the smooth-feathered pekin and the sussex bantam will take note, but don't follow (I've had them a while longer). When she decides to stop running it just sort of fizzles out, she's not ducking for cover at the end.

Oddly enough it's only the three frizzles that do this. I've had those three for about 3 weeks, there are very few natural predators around (large pythons in summer, but the dogs keep everything else away). And the only seem to do it in early morning - no predators that I can see and their run is very sheltered. It doesn't look like fright running to me anyway, as one will do it, starting slowly, then the other two will follow.

I've only noticed this behaviour in the past three days - it's worth mentioning that I previously had all 5 of them in a 3m x 2m x 2m aviary temporarily, and now they've been moved to a 5.5m x 2m run (with night-time coop). They've only been in the new run for about 4 days - could it be they're happy to be in a larger area? It's shady with lots of spaces for dustbathing and they get more scraps now than they did in the aviary.

I'm confused - they don't seem ill, so as long as they're healthy I don't mind. But I would like to know what this behaviour is! :)

Thanks for any help!

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