What in the world is she saying!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jessupfamily, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have had chickens for around 6 years now. In the city, free-range on the farm and in a run/coop on a farm. I have never experienced this before! I have 2 mamas taking care of 6 babies together (this is common for us). One mama has been standing hunkered down and not moving AT ALL (just her eyes are blinking and kind of looking around, but mostly looking sideways and upward). She's making this very low growling purring sort of sound. The other mama is about 3-4 feet from her and has all the babies huddled in the corner and is very quiet and still. These babies are about a month old and usually very, very busy! They are all laying in a pile and still and quiet! This has been going on for about 15-20 mins. All of the other chickens are sticking close by the back door and are pretty quiet as well. I've been sitting out back on the step watching and listening and haven't seen or heard anything different. She is absolutely not going to move from her position either! We are in the city with these chickens. I'm assuming that she knows something I don't. Any ideas?
    Amy J.
     
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Are songbirds making any noise, or are they quiet, too? If the songbirds and such are quiet, then some predator is around.

    If you hear one bird loudly screaming at something, it could be a jay or mockingbird chasing a bad guy. That might help you pinpoint the threat.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I dunno, maybe your momma hen went broody again and the others don't understand why? Maybe someone else will have a better explanation.
     
  4. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's been about an half an hour now and still no moving and no noises, just her doing that growling. All song birds are quiet also. All you hear is the cicadas. It's odd! I've seen them kind of be this way before, but not this intensely or for this long. They are used to cats and dogs and other birds. Sure makes me curious!
    Amy J.
     
  5. silkhope

    silkhope Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] snake in a tree??
     
  6. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    If the songbirds are all quiet, then I'd say a hawk is somewhere in the area. That's what ours do when a hawk or eagle is around. The songbirds won't make noise lest they attract it's attention. A jay or mockingbird will scream and dance around a snake. But a hawk shuts EVERYBODY up.

    Used to have a hawk (pre-chickens) that would watch our bird feeder. So I learned a lot observing them.
    Sadly, now I have a jay that can screech like a hawk to get first dibs at the feeder. My peeps run for cover when that jay makes his cry!
     
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    I'd go check around for a snake and be scanning for hawks.

    Ours growl at one another, but only while roosting. Your girl thinks she sees something bad (all the others freezing) - it's a different sort of growl.
     
  8. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK! Everything seemed to getting back to normal. The mamas and our Silkie roo were still being cautious. I was still watching and looking and saw nothing. Our yard is about 50 foot by 40 foot and 6 foot privacy fencing all the way around. We have 2 rope clothes lines that go all the way from one end to the other. I was standing directly in the middle of the yard and watching the mamas move the babies to the rose bushes at the other end of the yard. They were moving them quickly and the babies were listening to the mamas closely. This is different for these city chickens. Then the mamas start freaking out and out of nowhere comes a hawk almost (literally) hitting me in the front of the head! [​IMG] The mamas made contact [​IMG] with the hawk and a lot of feathers went flying! It scared me! Where are the babies is all I'm thinking! All of them were shoved into the fence and behind the posts so well that they had a hard time getting out! I've never seen this in action before! Now everyone is under the rose bushes and quiet! So now my children have decided to become chicken shepherds for the day! [​IMG]
    Amy J.
     
  9. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Smart chickies!
    Isn't instinct a lovely thing.

    I thought it was a hawk. Glad everyone seems to be okay. Next time they act like that I'd lock them in the coop for a little while

    Have you checked the hens that made contact? Are they OK?
     
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Cool!
     

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