Why is my Chicken Walking Backwards?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PenelopeRose, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. PenelopeRose

    PenelopeRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2015
    A few days ago, my hen started walking backwards, in a "hunched down" position; as if she were afraid of me. It was bizarre. She still does it sometimes but not all the time. Any ideas as to why? She is very well cared for and has no need to be afraid. She has been the most social and most outgoing of my flock.
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I've seen my hens doing that when they're trying to shed a saddle apron they don't want to wear.

    Yours may have something stuck in an ear or something that's making her uncomfortable. Is she also scratching at her head?

    I would wrap her tightly in a towel so she can't flap her wings in protest and examine her ears carefully. Use a magnifying glass if you have to to see into the tiny ear hole behind the delicate ear flap. It's rare, but sometimes things can get stuck in there. You should be able to grasp it with either your fingers or tweezers and pull it out.
  3. PenelopeRose

    PenelopeRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2015
    Thanks so much Azygous. I thought the fuzzy things on the side of her face were her ears and the flappy part was the lobe. I had no idea there was a hole back there! I'll check her again tomorrow and hopefully that will do the trick. I haven't noticed any head scratching.
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    If she has her tail down, I would also check for being egg bound or some sort of vent irritation.

    Sometimes when they submit in the egg squat they'll step backward, but you sound like you are familiar enough with your hens to distinguish between a submissive egg squat and odd behavior.


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