Sneezing as an Alarm Call?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by For-The-Love-Of-Chickens, May 12, 2009.

  1. Our chickens have always been big sneezers. I was really freaked out about it when they were younger, but nothing worse has ever developed. No runny nose, no discharge of any kind from anywhere, no head shaking, no coughing, nothing! So I just assumed it was normal for this group of chickens.

    Now that the weather is getting nicer, we let them out to free range for a couple of hours a day. We are always out with them as we have tons of predators here. Anyway, we have noticed that when something is spotted that makes them nervous (a hawk flying over, a coiled piece of rope, a huge earthworm) that they sneeze at it. This sneeze brings all the other chickens over to investigate and they sneeze too! They also cluck and chatter to each other, but the sneeze seems to be the predominant sound.

    Anyone else ever had your chickens do this or are mine just weird?

  2. mfsakc

    mfsakc Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    El Dorado County, CA
    I have a young roo that sneezes too. He seems to sneeze at new things when presented to him. I too have watched him for other symptoms but nothing else has developed. Kinda weird huh? I'll be interested in what others have to say on the subject.
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Ummm...yep, that seems weird to me. But maybe others will chime in?
  4. StupidBird

    StupidBird Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    My 2 barred rocks get cuddled whether they like it or not (NOT) and sneeze at me when I let them down...more like "tsk, tsk, tsk" and ruffle their feathers a bit. The 2 buff orps and the one RiR do it sometimes too, like they're scolding me for catching them and handling them. They're about 3 months old now, don't do it as much as when younger.
  5. Katy_didnot

    Katy_didnot Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Beaverton, Oregon
    This issue is nothing to sneeze at![​IMG]
    Sorry, it had to be said...[​IMG]
  6. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Umm.. are you sure it's a "sneeze" and not a cluck? My roosters make a special cluck when they find food to call the hens over to eat it.
  7. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Mine sneeze when I bring them snacks. They've always sneezed from time to time, but especially when theres grapes involved.

    Never noticed it with predators though.... hehe, thats funny.
  8. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Songster

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    I have one very wild/unfriendly hen. When I get near her (the only time I can get near her is when she is roosting or laying) she will sneeze at me!

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