Silkie Hen Constantly Turning around in circles

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jhrutkay, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. jhrutkay

    jhrutkay Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Feb 9, 2009
    I have this hen who seems really nervous all the time......she is a silkie.....she literally stands in one spot and turns around in circles.........I am a newbie with silkies..........is this normal behavior for silkies. It does not seem to matter if she is with other chickens or if she is caged by herself, she continues to do this. Any ideas on what I can do......or should I just not worry.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Keriamon

    Keriamon Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Mar 30, 2009
    Is she bored? Sometimes horses that are kept in barns all the time will get bored and will start swaying back and forth (and certain, more high-strung horses/breeds are more prone to do this). They'll do it for hours. It can become such a habit, they'll do it even if they're let out. It can take some frequent interaction and stimulation to break them of it.

    I assume chickens, like horses, are creatures of habit, so even if you can figure out and remove whatever caused her to start going into circles, she'll probably need something to break the habit. I mean, even if another chicken is the problem, she can be so hung up on circling that she does it even when alone (just like a horse continuing to sway in a pasture that it's free to run around in).

    Have you tried, when she's alone, giving her a toy to see if she will get more interested in it than in circling? I've seen on here people recommending pine cones, bells and mirrors as things that chickens find fascinating and that they like to spend a lot of time playing with. Maybe if she finds a new way to occupy herself, she'll forget about circling and will break the habit.
     
  3. deborah the silkie

    deborah the silkie Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Oct 1, 2008
    Phoenix
    I too am interested in hearing more about this. I have 7 silkie chicks and one of the chicks also does the circling thing, its not a constant thing but ive caught it on more than one occasion doing this. My chicks are varying in age from 2 to 5 weeks.
     
  4. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Could be a bit of brain damage if she's vaulted. Or a head injury. I had one a long time ago that would do that, but I dont know what caused it.
     
  5. deborah the silkie

    deborah the silkie Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    32
    Oct 1, 2008
    Phoenix
    Hmmm very interesting, the only noticable difference between this one chick out of the 6 others is that instead of 5 toes, this one has only 4 on one foot, and 3 on the other with heavy webbing. I understand this means that it is a poor quality silkie and under most cercumstances it should have been culled but I just love this little one. The other 6 are gorgeous, 5 toes on each foot beautifully seperated. They have beards, and are active and healthy. Even the little circler is active healthy and the second largest.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by