Tail wagging question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by galanie, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Ok this is kind of a silly question, but in your opinion, does one shaking or wagging it's tail mean it's happy or something else? I'd always heard it meant a happy hen.

    But now I wonder. This is why: A couple months ago I sold one of my big orpington pullets to the grandchild next door. This was the smallest of the hatch and I'd eventually have sold her. Granddaughter LOVED her. Still does. But they were raised in a sort of Hands Off environment. If my birds don't want to be touched, then they are not touched unless I need to pick them up for inspection or treatment or something. But grandchild picks hers up and hugs them, carries them around, etc. whether they want it or not. Needless to say, my ex pullet quickly learned that she would be picked up and is resigned to it.

    But the other day, I learned that when said family picks up this girl, she waggles her tail! What? Is she now liking the attention? They just LOVE her because she is so fluffy and soft lol and she's a sweet girl too. But really, could she be loving this attention now enough to do that? Or could it mean something else? They live elsewhere, it's the grandmother next door not the family itself so I don't get to see them pick her up in person. They only have her and an adoring silkie rooster.
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I wonder if tail waging kind of means excitement, but not necessarily good or bad mood. It would be interesting to see what others think.
  3. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    I'm curious as I noticed the tail wag a week ago and wondered what it indicated.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I've always attributed it to a happy hen. My hens always look happy when they do the tail wagging.
  5. ajonsie

    ajonsie In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2014
    D'Iberville, MS
    My Americana just did the wag today. I'm looking up right now wondering what it means. She was given treats and enjoying a rain shower. I think I assume she's a happy girl!
  6. Ninette

    Ninette Hatching

    Oct 1, 2014
    My exbatt Love started wagging her tail a day or two ago and I have had her for almost a year and never noticed this before. We only have (had) two hens, but the past two days Hope, the other hen became very ill and last night she passed away. Today I've noticed Love wagging her tail again. She did it as she approached our cat who had come into her enclosure for a wee (we have a large space of our backyard enclosed for the hens and the cat is welcome there). I wonder if it is a reassurance thing or an attitude thing like one of the other posters commented or maybe she was happy for the company? I hope that it means she is happy, but I just found it strange that it started when our other hen was on her way out. Love is adjusting to the loss today and I am going out more regularly to rummage around with her so that she doesn't feel so alone :((
  7. chicken chickie

    chicken chickie In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2014
    Pennsylvania pa
    Awwww... All my girls wag ...I tell them shake those tail feathers ladies ...they are very happy hens
  8. GrammiChelle

    GrammiChelle Chirping

    May 21, 2014
    Southwest Texas
    I was wondering about this because I have 6 girls. They free range most days and I usually let them out by noon, but today, due to stormy weather, I didn't let them out til almost 4 pm. They were all obviously happy tobe out, running around joyously trying to decide where to go first. I noticed at least 4 of them wagging their tails within a few minutes of being out of the coop. So I think it means they're happy
  9. Marske

    Marske Hatching

    Jul 12, 2017
    My Baby Easter Egger was wagging her tail when she saw me

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