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I was quietly picking the last of my blueberries when I observed two of my chickens giving each the stink eye, holding very still and then all of a sudden both their neck feathers burst out and it was obvious that they were about to attack each other. So I did the only thing any chicken farmer would do, I threw blueberries at them. Alas it appears that "Sarah Jessica Parker" my feather footed hen, named for Carrie Bradshaw's lovely feather shoes in Sex and the City should have been named "Big." Damn.

My chickens are 14 weeks old. Other than this behavior I am just not sure. The two in question are very different breeds (Leg Horn and Bard) and the Leg horn is much bigger.

Any suggestions to make a final confirmation?
 

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Ya they do the feather ruffling when they're in fight mode sometimes. Being they are young yet, its probably more of a part of learning/play; practicing being intimidating. My Rhode Island Abbie, does that all the time to my german shep. For Abbie its part of her playing with our dog.
 

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Roo's do this too. Post some pics. There are some really good experienced members on here that will be able to tell you.
 

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My girls do that sometimes. I think the stinkeye you're seeing might be their odd way of communicating. They study each other, and the things they come in contact with. My girls ruffle a lot, to show who's the prettiest, get the last word after a squabble, fix their hair when its windy or after preening. I like to take my lawn chair and watch them socialize. It is quite interesting.
 

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My girls did that too, ESP at that age... I think as other members have said, it's part play, part learning to be intimidating, part sorting out pecking order. They do it less now that they are older (mine are just over 2 years now).

Ours would start with the stink eye, then get into what we used to call "hopping' mad"! Where they would be all puffed up and start flapping and jumping at each other. Usually just for a minute or so... Then they would go back to stink eye... And eventually decide they didn't want to graze next to each other for a while. What was interesting was it was usually the same 2 going at it (who were 2nd and 3rd in pecking order) and the other hen (who was clearly the boss) would head straight over and break them up!


I usually tried to stay out of it, as they need to be able to sort thing out for themselves, but once or twice I intervened just because it looked like thing were getting a little rough and out of hand! (no need for a vet trip while sorting things out!)


~Amy
 
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