Why does a chicken squat and lift wing shoulders when entering pen?

Sing2songs

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 15, 2014
24
0
34
Wisconsin, USA
When I enter the pen and get close to a chicken, (which is always since they all rush to greet me to see what I have for treats) the closest one will squat and lift the wings a little. Although this is a great time to pick them up to love them and squeeze them, I was wondering if this is a sign of affection or a protection stance. Any thoughts out there?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,270
33,266
1,122
Colorado Rockies
It's a reflex action to anything above or behind. It can be a rooster, a bully hen, you coming up quickly behind the hen, or a hawk in the sky coming down overhead.

It has nothing to do with fond feelings for you.
 

tcstoehr

Songster
Mar 25, 2014
417
47
124
Canby, Oregon
This is generally recognized as the "submit" position. When a rooster approaches for mating and she is agreeable to it, she will "assume the position" for mating to occur. This is at an instinctual level that gets a bit confused with people. I just figure they think of me as the giant alpha male rooster of the group. It's not that they want to mate with you, it's more like a dog rolling over submissively.
 

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