playing dead???

cracked_egg

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
198
3
99
I'm not sure they're ok? Did I stress them out too much when I tried to catch them? (Problem with a big coop when they're still small... They're hard to catch)... Anyway, I made a little outside run for them, but it isn't hooked to coop, so I had to catch them all and put them in box and carry outside... They seemed mad to be outside, then started to like it, but then they started laying on their sides with wings stretchrd out like they're dead... Are they ok? Is this some odd chicken behavior I haven't seen before?
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
423
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Could they possibly be sun-bathing? Or dust bathing? Does it look anything like this?
41679_matildadustbath8.jpg


Sometimes they look like they are having a seizure, and it's just part of the dust bathing experience. They're ENJOYING themselves.
 

cracked_egg

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
198
3
99
Oh good! Yes it does sort of look like that... I was worried they're too hot, but they're only 2-3 weeks old and its 75-80 here, not too bad... Plus there is nice breeze, they're so funny! But I put the box in and they are all standing behind it for shade so I think that is part of problem... Boy they love being outside though!!!!
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
325
661
SW Arkansas
That's dustbathing, but just FYI chickens do play dead. My old alpha roo would chase the beta roo from time to time. Poor Thor Boy, he'd run as far as he could but then lay down and play dead.
 

KBChicks

Songster
11 Years
Apr 21, 2010
483
20
196
PA
One of my 9 week old girls was doing the same thing when our friend Dave popped in for a visit.
He ran into the house hollering that one of our chickens had died. I dropped what I was doing and darted out to the run...

MAN....was I relived to see that she was only dust-bathing....

Now Dave thinks he's a "Chicken Expert" when he sees a chicken all sprawled out in the dirt and explains to his buddies what it's really doing.
lol.png
 

beachchickie

Songster
10 Years
Dec 6, 2009
396
1
119
Alabama
I had all 5 of my 8 wk old chicks suddenly raise their neck feathers, and fall over with wings out and crazed look in their eyes. I thought it was Jonestown. They were sunbathing.
 

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