What does it mean when my pullets lay down on their sides and puff up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by urbanfarmqueen, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. urbanfarmqueen

    urbanfarmqueen In the Brooder

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    Hey Everyone, What does it mean when my pullets lay down on their side and puff up around my bigger girls?
    This week I started taking my 6 week old pullets outside when warm, secure and separate in a critter cage to hang out with my other full grown free ranging hens. I want to incorporate them all together in a few more weeks so I thought this was a good exercise, but I noticed that sometimes when a wild bird flies over or one of my older girls comes close to the pullets, the pullets will sometimes lay on their side and puff out their feathers, especially the feathers on the back of their necks. I assume this is a submissive or fear response? Just curious.
     

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Sure they aren't just taking a Dust bath? Hmmmmmm Mine perk up stiff, then head to an evergreen tree for cover.
    Of course, the lower pullets do the squat and hover low, in submission to higher ups, especially if the higher ups are mean.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

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    Fred's Hens :

    Sure they aren't just taking a Dust bath? Hmmmmmm Mine perk up stiff, then head to an evergreen tree for cover.

    That's what I thought. I use to think they were dead when relaxed in sun and legs splayed out in odd fashion.​
     
  4. happychick

    happychick In the Brooder

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    Definately sounds like a dust bath; are the older girls attacking the newbys?
     

  5. urbanfarmqueen

    urbanfarmqueen In the Brooder

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    No attacking because they are in a cage outside with the older gals. Its not dust bathing either, because there is no scooting or scratching with their legs besides they are in a cage and aren't touching enough earth. Also the behavior only lasts a few seconds then they stand back up again.
     
  6. debid

    debid Crowing

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    It could also be sunbathing. Chickens will sprawl out in the sun to enjoy that warmth.
     
  7. lcammack

    lcammack Chirping

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    I would say sunbathing as well. They love to lay in the sun and it looks very odd to see a chicken lay on there side. Maybe try to post a pic. We could tell you for sure then.
     

  8. beach livin'

    beach livin' Songster

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    does it kinda look like this?
    [​IMG]
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Sunbathing makes me crack up every time! It's like they are in a trance and almost sink to the ground on their side unknowingly [​IMG]

    I call it chicken therapy. [​IMG]
     

  10. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

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    Maybe they came from a farm with those fainting goats.[​IMG] Sounds like just sunbathing.
     

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