Roosting on people...disrespect?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by notsooldmcdonald, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    Hi All-

    I've always considered my Red Sex Link ladies to be pretty friendly (I'm new to them, and they're new to me, only 17 weeks and my first chickens), but I have a couple of them who keep trying to roost on me without us having that conversation first. For example, I will be hanging around the pen, watching everybody, when *whoosh* I have a chicken try to awkwardly roost on me by fluttering/climbing her way up me! I sometimes catch one or two eyeing me like they want to _try_ that move, but so far have moved my position when I notice that look. Also, I often feed the ladies as they perch on the roost in their pen area. It is without fail that I end up with one or two on my forearm, which doesn't startle me as much, but often happens tres rapido!

    Now, I have horses, and am well versed in how they view space, and understand that invading space is a sign of aggression/dominance/disrespect. Obviously, chickens aren't horses, but I am interested to know if I need to deal with this from the standpoint of asserting myself, or welcoming a friendly gesture.


  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I've always taken it as a friendly gesture. When mine were younger they would come sit on my shoulders and lap and "chat" with me. They don't do it so much now that they're grown and I miss it!
    You do have to watch out for unfortunate "accidents". Wear an old shirt!
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    I would guess that they are used to being picked up, and they like it.
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Mine do that all the time and I love it! They love you [​IMG] I think it's a sign of what a great relationship you have with your chickens [​IMG]
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Ahhh yes the human roost. I would love it if mine still perched on me but now that they are grown up they dont do it so much anymore. They love you and are showing you how much. Look out for the poo tho lol

    Edited to add Welcome to BYC [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  6. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    It brightens my day to go down to the coop and have them fly up and perch on my arm/shoulder/foodbucket......... Let's me know that I am loved, or that they love what I have to give them..... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  7. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    Wow! What a relief (I tend toward micromanagement, and NOW...need to reign myself in). We do pick them up and pat them a lot, we've tried to do that consistently from the start (again, micromanagement). It's just startling when I wasn't paying attention!

  8. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Seems to me the sort of thing chicks or other babies do ~ climb all over mama for security/comfort. My EE hen used to climb all over me and peep like a chick when she was younger; I am relieved she is now too big to flop herself onto my head.

    Is there ever any respect of "personal space" from the kiddies? [​IMG]
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My hens jump up on my arms to visit whenever I'm sitting outside. My roosters keep a respectable distance, but that's a GOOD thing.
  10. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    An update:

    So, after having my frame of reference redefined, I enter my pen ready to accept my chicken's "love". Yesterday, nothing, today...I lean down to push in the bottom of the door, as it's sticky, and *whoosh* up on my shoulder goes a pullet. I peer to my right side, and she bends over to look at me, upside down of course, and purrs.

    It was pretty cool. She must think I'm fairly stupid, because I then called for my husband...he, thinking I was yelling at the dog for barking (which he wasn't), ignored me. I scooted over to the outside roost and she hopped off.

    Chickens are wonderous!


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