Silkie chicken plays possum?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rhodiegal, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. rhodiegal

    rhodiegal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2007
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    Was wondering if anyone has experienced their chickens playing dead when in a tight situation? I have a 4 mo old Silkie named Squeakers who managed to squeeze between the coop fence and get into another coop with the older Barred Rock hens - who will ruthlessly attack anything smaller that them. When I went outside this morning to feed, I saw Squeakers lying in the middle of the coop in a small, crumpled up mound dead - or so I thought! I went in there quite upset (it is my 8 year olds dearest chicken) and noticed that she was breathing. Lifted her up and her eyes were closed and she was limp - but breathing. I took her inside and fed her some Avia Charge through a straw and she did swallow it, but continued to lie on her side with eyes closed. I went back out to get the sick cage thinking she had internal damage. When I came back in and knelt down by her, she jumped up and quick as a flash ran away and stood there looking at me! It gave me quite a start - but she continued to act normal walking around and chirping. It was the strangest thing!
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, that's their mode of submission saying that they give up. Sadily, that is also what they do when something wants to eat them.
     
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    I do have one girl that plays dead. It tripped me out at first because I thought she was sick and dying. So there I was, sitting on the couch bawling my eyes out with Buddy in my lap. Then, out of nowhere, she jumps up and tries to take off! [​IMG]
     
  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Jun 11, 2007
    It sort of sounds like the genetic disorder that the breed "Fainting Goats" has. When subjected to sudden, overwhelming stress, the goat's brains just spaz out and they "faint", fall down still. Then a few seconds later, they snap out of it like nothing happened.

    The goats were featured on one of Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs episodes.

    Maybe some Silkies have the same weird brain wiring.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  5. rhodiegal

    rhodiegal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2007
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    The fainting goat came to my mind as well. There is no telling how long she had been that way, but is was so weird how she just suddenly snapped out of it and went on like nothing happened.
     
  6. Jazlyn

    Jazlyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a Nigerian Dwarf goat kid that would just collapse, but usually kept his eyes open. He turned out to have a B1 deficiency(he is better now). It would not hurt to give her a B1 supplement for two or three days. I used Crumbles for my goat and my roo took a bit for himself too.(He seemed to like it.)
     
  7. rhodiegal

    rhodiegal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2007
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    She did it again - only in the peafowl/turkey coop (located on the other side of her pen). Now that she has realized she can squeeze through the wood slats, my daughter found her crumpled up on the ground as if dead with the turkeys and peafowl staring at her. My daughter went in to get her and she popped out of it. I am beginning to think little Squeakers is smarter than she looks. Unfortunately, I won't have time to get wire up until the weekend to prevent it. I wish I had a video camera I could put up there to see what they are doing out there.
     

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