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Ruffled neck feathers, what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yankiwi, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. yankiwi

    yankiwi Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    These girls (at least we think they are girls) are two of three NH Reds that are about nine weeks old. They get along fine most of the time, they snuggle up in the coop either on the floor or on their perch but when we let them out into the run they run around chasing each other and sometimes one of them ruffles its neck feathers like this. What does it mean? After they do that they settle down in harmony again until nightfall when they go back into the coop and we latch the doors. We let them out around 2 or 3pm and sunset is about 9.00 as we are in the southern hemisphere.
    Thanks for any comments.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    It's all chicken sparring... has to do with "pecking order" and if they are only 9 weeks, the one on the left may be a roo.
     
  3. Raven81

    Raven81 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] X2
    i have 4 about the same age & 1 is a roo the others are pullets & the roo does this to the girls & they just walk away from him. the girls fly at each other & have a bit of a set to but it doesnt come to fluffing up or anything like that.
    but in your pic the one fluffed up does look like a roo he has very red comb & wattles compared to the other one so im thinking its 90% roo
    also has pointy tail & feathers so make that 95% roo..
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  4. Raven81

    Raven81 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh & [​IMG] from a fellow nzer
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It is chicken sparring and development of a social structure. Not so sure they are pullets.[​IMG] The bird to the left I'm betting is a cockerel, and the other looks suspicious.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    That's a GREAT photo of a pecking order challenge!
     
  7. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like a dog who hair stands up along it's back and neck, or a cat who puffs out it's fur and archs it's back, it's all about trying to look bigger and meaner, when in a confrontation, or a possible threat is detected. In the animal kingdom it could mean life or death, as to how mean one looks.

    I know my Wife looks bigger and meaner, when she is mad at me..[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. yankiwi

    yankiwi Out Of The Brooder

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    The breeder came by and saw the rooster. A few days later he exchanged the roo for a pullet. The girls are a lot more mellow now, it's funny how their group personality changed.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:I use the term "raising hackles" since that is the type feathers involved. Plays out in multiple contexts. Rank determnation and challenges, play and part of typical chicken combat.

    Raised hackles makes the displaying animal appear larger. Males and more mature birds typically have larger hackles.
     
  10. yankiwi

    yankiwi Out Of The Brooder

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    I wonder how many words or terms in common English usage are poultry related? Pecking order, raising hackles, flying the coop, cooped up--there must be lots more.
     

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