A Closer Look at Why Chickens Jump On Your Shoulder : Feathered Acrobats



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Let me tell y’all about the time I was throwin’ some scraps to the hens in my backyard.

I had just cracked open a nice cold one and was enjoyin’ the afternoon sun when all of a sudden I felt a flappin’ on my shoulder.

I about spit out my beer! Clucky had launched herself up and made herself comfy like I was her personal roost. Scared me half to death!

Chickens actually prefer perching on elevated surfaces like people, rather than flimsy trees, because it gives them the best view of the yard to find grub and look out for hawks and foxes prowlin’ around.

After my heart rate went back to normal, I started wonderin’ what made Clucky choose my padded perch over the branches right above us.

Turns out chickens are smarter than they look!

Chickens Will Always Roost if They Can


These girls are descended from red junglefowl who lived in the treetops of Southeast Asia, so they still got a natural instinct to perch high at night.

Even my girls who have a cozy coop still try to find a high spot during the day if they can. Doesn’t matter if it’s a tree, bale of hay, or a fella’s shoulder – any elevated spot will do!

One time I saw Henrietta tryin’ to hitch a ride on top of old Shep the sheepdog. Shep was havin’ none of it and gave a good shake to get her off, but you could see the chicken was tryin’ to use him like mobile roost. They’ll take what they can get!

Clucky must’ve spotted me from across the yard and thought my broad shoulders looked like a five-star hotel compared to the scrawny birches growin’ along the fence.

Chickens Can See Forever From Up High


At just a foot or two taller than the average tree branch, my shoulder gives old Clucky an extra view of everything happnin’ in the neighborhood. She’s got a clear shot across the whole yard from up there to find all the best grub bins. Plus she can scan for any predators lurkin’ in the bushes.

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One time a big old red-tailed hawk was circlin’ overhead and I didn’t even notice until Esther who was perched on my baseball cap pointed it out with a string of angry clucks. That girl saved all our tails that day!

From way up on my shoulder, these protective hens can see any danger comin’ from a mile away. I bet that level of surveillance is real comforting when they’re eatin’ out in the open versus hunkered under a scraggly tree.

Chickens Feel Like They’ve Got Backup


Beyond just getting a sweeping vista, I think the chickens also know they’re safe as can be up high on a human. We’re about 50 times their size, so I’m basically a walkin’ fortress as far as they’re concerned. Ol’ Clucky was probably thinkin’ with me right beneath her, nothin’ could possibly get past us.

One time a sneaky fox came sniffin’ around after dusk and all the girls started hollerin’ from their roost in the coop. I grabbed my shotgun and scared that varmint off pronto. Bet that’s why they feel so secure up on my broad frame – they know I’ve got their six.

Curlin’ up next to a big protective fella like me is basically chicken heaven as far as security goes. They must think “nothin’ will mess with us while he’s around!”

Curiosity is Part of Their DNA


If I know chickens, and I like to think I do after all these years, part of why ol’ Clucky took that chance and flew on up was just plain natural curiosity. She probably thought “what’s the view like from WAY up there?” and couldn’t resist findin’ out.

These birds are total daredevils. I’ve seen Dolly try and ride on top of the lawnmower more than once when I’m cuttin’ grass. Pure thrill-seekers, the lot of ’em.

Clucky no doubt spotted me from afar and wondered “I’ll bet the scenery is prize-worthy from up on his shoulder. Betta go check it out!” Turns out she wasn’t wrong – my perch gave her a real five-star overlook of the homestead for sure.

Appreciate Their Initiative!

Anytime one of your flock gets the itch to hitch a ride on your shoulders, don’t go shakin’ ’em off right away. They’re just followin’ instincts as natural as can be to perch high and monitor their domain. Plus it means they trust and feel secure with you, which is an honor if you ask me!

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I say let ’em indulge their curiosity and enjoy the beautiful scenery for a spell. It’s right flatterin’ to know you make a better lookout post than even the grandeur of nature. Who am I to deny a chicken a good view?

Chickens Crave Connection with Their Flock

Chickens are very social birds who like to stay close to their flock. When one decides to perch on your shoulder, it shows how much they see you as part of their group!

Feeling that soft feathered body cuddled up next to your neck is a real honor – it means they trust you’ll keep them safe just like any other flock member would.

I think Clara especially sees me as part of her tight-knit squad. She’s always the first to hop on up for cuddle time when I’m passin’ out treats.

Sharin’ body heat and having that physical closeness must activate their social instincts and make ’em feel more secure emotionally too.

It’s flatterin’ to know you’ve been inducted as an honorary chicken after all your years of care and keepin’ them comfortable.

Feel proud your flock considers you one of their own! That chicken snugglin’ up is a bigger compliment than you might think.

Your Aura of Calmness Soothes Anxious Chickens

One reason chickens may wanna get cozy on your shoulders is because they can literally feel your calm and it rubs off on them.

When you’re relaxed and goin’ about your business, chickens pick up on those chill vibes through your motions and aura.

Nervous birds especially appreciate being near someone who exudes a sense of ease and safety.

Old Bessie gets spooked by everything so she’s always first in line for stress-relieving scritches when I’m out feedin’ em.

Your steady pulse and breathing transmit security they can snuggle up against during moments of unease.

It’s like chicken aromatherapy! Letting a bird nestle by your jugular is the perfect way to help them decompress.

Certain Chickens Bond Closely with Their Favorite Humans

While all critters in the flock connect to some degree, some chickens form extra strong pairs or groups with specific people.

These social butterflies see beyond food and shelter needs to emotional attachment with their trusted human handlers.

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Ol’ Clementine follows me around like a lost duckling any chance she gets.

She puffs up big and loud whenever strangers come by, making it clear she’s MY chicken!

Letting your bonded bird hang out on your shoulder is the perfect way to nurture that unique relationship.

Feel honored – it means you’ve gained an avian bestie for life who wants to bask in your presence as much as possible.

Some Chickens Are Natural-Born Attention Hogs

Whether they crave scritches or just enjoy the thrill of being doted on, certain hens have stronger personalities than others.

Miss Priss for example lives for any pettin’ and preenin’ she can get from humans.

She’ll find any excuse to cozy up, showing off those soft feathers like she’s on a catwalk.

I think part of why Priss likes struttin’ her stuff on shoulders is for the ultimate attention-getting real estate.

Strutting her stuff at pedestrian eye level lets everyone appreciate her glory.

Don’t be surprised if your neediest girls start using you for impromptu photo shoots!

Chickens Evolved Keen Problem-Solving Abilities

Despite their chicken brains, these girls are smarter problem-solvers than most folks give them credit for.

They’ve got to be cunning to outwit predators and find food in complex environments.

So when a chicken spies an untapped roosting resource like broad human shoulders, that lil’ brain starts churning.

“Hmm, how can I utilize this elevated platform? Looks stable and comes with protection….”

Their smarts serve them well for non-traditional roosting solutions too it seems!

Don’t underestimate your chicken’s reasoning skills – they’re little Einsteins in their own way.

Your Unique Scent Reassures Anxious Birds

Along with providing a nice vantage point, chickens also dig the ol’ human musk.

Our individual scents help chickens recognize flock-mates and feel comfortable.

Miss Henny gets mighty skittish at strange sounds so she spends lots of time stuck to me.

Snuggling into my clothes and skin oils seems to relax her nervous system.

Familiar scents send the message “nothing to fear – it’s just old friendly Charlie.”

Letting a bird get a good sniff can soothe them during times of high alert.

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Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

This ain’t no chicken game. After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

I’m talking building a palace of a coop guaranteed to impress the neighbors, concocting feed for peak egg production, collecting eggs so perfect you’ll weep tears of joy – plus hilarious stories and accidental mishaps along the way.

So get cluckin’ and grab the key to creating your own morning egg paradise before I sell out!