Six week-old Black Austrolarp plays "dead"

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kkcameron1945, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. kkcameron1945

    kkcameron1945 Hatching

    Feb 11, 2015
    Several people have asked if a baby chick can play dead. I just took my chick out in the patio - he is used to being in a brooder pen. When I lifted him out of the box I used to carry him and set him on the patio in the gentle sunshine, around 70 degrees, he looked around for a few minutes and then keeled over on his side, splaying out one wing - as though dead. I was horrified, but when I gently nudged him, he popped right up. Then, a few minutes later, over he goes again! When I put him back in the transfer box, where he felt protected, he did not repeat the behavior, nor in the brooder pen where he is now. I checked all the websites, including this one, and was shocked to discover that there is controversy and doubt over this behavior. I am not a chicken expert, but I am pretty sure I know that my chick was pretending to be sick or dead, for fear of a Hawk or other predator.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC - your bird was sunbathing/resting in a very relaxed state of mind (vs your theory of feeling threatened) - not playing dead or pretending to be sick.
  3. Nupe

    Nupe Songster

    Jun 13, 2014
    Yep, just sunbathing. My chicks would do that under the heat lamp. Lay on one side and spread out the opposite wing and/or foot and just lay there for a bit. To me it just looked like they were stretching out. I would too if I was curled up in an egg for a month. [​IMG]
  4. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chirping

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    x2 on Ol Grey Mare's reply. That's what it was doing. Our new ones do that anytime they get in the sun.

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