Why is my bird acting like this? Please help.


10 Years
Dec 21, 2009
New Hampshire
I have a leghorn mix pullet that was very friendly. For last few days Iv'e noticed a huge change in her behavior. Usually she will walk right up to you and let you pet/pick her up. But now when ever I walk close to her or near her she runs away, and if I step towards her more she runs for dear life. While she was running and I followed her at walking pace to see if I could catch her in an easy, friendly way. But she flapped her wings and squaked as if I was a predator. Why is she acting like this? Is she paranoid from an experience?

She doesnt have any wounds (from a possible predator) and nothing comes in the yard really. The neighbor has loose dogs, but they have chickens as well, so the dogs are used to the chickens. I dont know whats wrong with her! Its like 85 degrees out and shes panting. I don't want her to have a heart attack! What do I do?


MORE: There are some new Barn Swallows that are out and about in the yard that are bug catching really low to the ground. Could my chicken be freaked out because of this?
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Chickens are not the smartest critters, many of them aren't much above potatos on the brain cell scale. Something has alarmed your girl. Are you wearing a new hat? The color Red? Red, means a big mature bird so they find that alarming sometimes.

Also young birds go through phases of paranoia where everythign scares them. I had a pullet frightened of her own broken tail feather that was sticking out sideways. I thought she was goignto kill herself before I caught her the snapped the feather off.

Try crouching down and tossing her a few tempting snacks. Get low, make quiet sounds. Let her remember you are the big snack machine then she will like you again.

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