The chicken is playing dead... and yes I screamed like a girl


In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 6, 2011
So I get my very first chickens back in June and I am SOOOOO looking forward to my chickens and ducks!!! We have a site called bismanonline, and I am searching religiously to find some chicks because every time I go to town (over an hour away and yes I am making special trips and no it has not occurred to me to call first
) the TSC or North Country Mercantile are out of birds!

So anyway, I find some chicks from a gal that is about 30 minutes away, which is great. I go to her house and pick the 12 I want out of her bunch, 3 of which are just about a day or two old.

I sit in the coop everyday with my birds. I feed them and change water twice a day. I will lose track of time and sit for literally hours just relaxing with my chicks. I am so paranoid that I am going to walk into the coop at some point and find one of my birds has passed away. So what do I do? I count them. Several times a day. Obsessively. Compulsively. I think I count them in my sleep. And I have to admit that I am tempted to pause this and go count them again...

So after days of counting them several times a day, I have a routine down. Go in the coop in the morning, count, feed and change water, sit and commune with my birds
a little while later peek in the window and count, repeat, repeat, oh... it's evening now so I can go back in
, go in the coop count, feed and change water, commune
peek in the window as I leave, peek after dinner, "what's that? why am I getting out of bed and putting my shoes on since it's after 11 (pm)" ...... Ok OK so yes. I realize I am a little overboard.... wait I need to check on my chickens.............

So come July, I don't want to disturb my birds as much because it is getting so very hot and I don't want to stress them more than necessary, so I peek in the window... alot... more...
OMG there is a chick face down in the shavings under the brooder lamp with one leg extended straight out and the opposite wing extended out as well
I run around to the door to the coop and burst inside and chickens cheep and scatter every which way... except the one that is face down... I now realize that I didn't think this through. I should've had my boyfriend do this... I can't pick up the dead bird! well, I CAN, I just don't WANT to! As I am thinking about my own absurdity, I am tip-toeing across the coop toward the brooder lamp and the closer I get I am crouching down. I get right next to the chick and as I reach out to pick it up... it JUMPS up, Cheeps at me and then runs away!! I of course did the only thing any Sane woman would do.... I screamed like a girl and promptly fell into what seemed like an abnormally large pile of chicken poo (notice! I did NOT soil myself it WAS chicken poo!)... then as I'm trying to push my hair out of my face my boyfriend opens the door, telling me later that he was concerned because he heard what he referred to as banshee screeching (I think he was being dramatic
) takes one looks at me and falls down the stone steps laughing. I get up, and with as much dignity as possible, dust myself off and walk out of the coop, as I am ignoring the inordinately funny shaped two-legged donkey that is guffawing behind me, my kids come tearing around the corner of the goat barn wanting to know if "I got bit cuz they heard me scream all the way down at the cow barn" ( why oh why am I surrounded by drama queens?
) and as they skid to a stop openly staring they both suddenly dissolve into giggles... I studiously ignore them and go into the house to wash up... so remember when I said I was "trying to push my hair out of my face"? yes... you guessed it! I had chicken poo on my face and in my hair! This in addition to what I found on the back of my jeans...

Needless to say I was unaware that chickens played dead... did you know that? because I didn't know that... but I most CERTAINLY will NOT forget it!

Now I really do need to go check my chickens! Have a great day!


I failed Chicken Math
9 Years
Jul 18, 2010
Central Florida
WHAT?! No one told you about the 'DEAD CHICKEN POSE?' Shame on them...yes, they do, but don't worry, I'm willing to bet that quite a few of us have had your reaction. I know I did--though it was not nearly as hilairious as yours, did not involve chicken poo on my butt OR on my face/hair and most CERTAINLY did not involve me screaming like a little girl...
Ok, in my case there were no witnesses, should I have, in fact screamed like the aforementioned little girl...
that's my story & i'm stickin' to it!
Great story (are you a writer, by chance?); thanks for the laugh!

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