Chicken With Head Tucked In

Chicken keepers know that chickens are pretty smart birds, but sometimes they behave abnormally.

Their body language tells a lot about them.

They vocalize in more than a dozen sounds to express different emotions.

But when they are sick, they won’t let you know vocally; you will have to understand by their body language that they aren’t doing well. 

During the day, chickens are active and busy in different activities, enjoying the forage, chasing bugs, having a mud bath and exploring the world each minute.

Healthy chickens are never seen as lazy.

Typically healthy chickens tuck their heads into their wings when sleeping at night or have a short nap during the daytime when they’re done foraging and feel sleepy.

Suppose your chicken is getting lazy and not interested in routine activities and your chicken head tucked in can be worrying 

If that is the case, it could indicate an underlying sickness that needs your observation and care.

How Can You Tell If a Chicken Is Stressed?

Vocal communication isn’t everything; chickens exhibit visual indications to express their behaviours and feeling.

A chicken’s body language indications are significant to know for a flock keeper.

Their survival and prosperity depend on it because they can’t speak out loud that they aren’t feeling well.

You must keep an eye on their behavior to be aware if they are going through difficult times

Stress is a killer for your flock and hampers the immune system.

Here are some common signs and indications that could be worth your attention immediately.

  1. If your chicken is hiding away from the flock and doesn’t want to get off the coop or nesting box.
  2. If the chicken is prone to inactivity and lethargy
  3. If you notice a lack of appetite as compared to the other flock
  4. When you see a pale comb or wattles in your chicken
  5. If you see liquidy or bloody droppings
  6. If your chicken’s posture is weird, like it is standing on one leg, squatting down, jerking or tucking its neck, or wings look like they dropped down
  7. decreasing weight and slow growth than other chickens of the same age
  8. Reduced egg production than usual
  9. if chickens’ vocalisation becomes louder than average and you notice repetitive chirps or screaming
  10. if you notice abnormal feather picking, ruffled feathers and excessive scratching
  11. Stereotypical and repetitive demeanour such as toe tapping, head swinging, rocking back and forth with a tilted head
  12. If your chicken starts to act withdrawn and frightened
  13. Behaving aggressively and showing tantrums to the flock and the owner
  14. physical appearance gets scattered and looks like other chickens in the coop have been pecking on it

How Do You Know If a Chicken Is Dying?

If you are a flock keeper, you must have seen dying chickens.

Sometimes they die suddenly overnight, and you find them on the coop floor in the morning.

It could be a sign of a heart stroke.

But sometimes, they get sick with time and fade out gradually within a few days.

Whatever the case, you must keep an eye on your birds to see if they are as healthy and robust as usual. 

Chickens cannot communicate by speaking like humans, but they have distinct ways of expressing their health conditions.

You have to be aware of their body and behavioral changes and be sure to see a trusted vet to rule out any medical concerns.

Symptoms of a dying chicken:

  • Immobilisation — see if your chicken is standing still for an extended period or standing on one leg
  • No response — she doesn’t respond to you when you touch her or the other chickens when they peck at her.
  • Puffed up —  a dying chicken may look all puffed up with closed eyes and tucks its neck in constantly.
  • Odd posture — it may look hunched up, standing bolt upright, constantly sitting, dropping its head down on its toes or lying on the ground kicking and flapping, trying to steady on its wings.
  • Difficult breathing — it may stretch out its neck due to difficulty breathing.
  • Getting pale— its comb may turn blue-ish, purple, or grey, or the face may pale due to the reduced blood flow.
  • Dusty feathers — its feathers look ruffle and dusty, matted away like there’s no sparkle of life left in them.

What Should I Do If My Chicken Keeps Tucking Her Head In? 

You must know your chicken’s body language for the well-being and survival of your flock.

Chicken’s weird body language could be an alarm of an underlying disease.

A healthy chicken would tuck its head in its wings only when it is sleepy and wants to keep itself warm.

If you find your chicken tucking its head in for an extended period, this is a worrying sign so you should get your chicken checked immediately.

It could be an initial sign of sickness or stress. 

Let’s say your chicken is tucking its head out of stress; you can try some of the following actions to help minimize its stress and make it feel better.

Here’s what you can do

Enhance safety 

Maybe your chicken escaped an unsuccessful attack attempt by a predator, but she’s in a shock and behaving in this manner

In this case, you should scrutinize the safety measures to ensure that your flock is secured inside and outside the coop.

You should check out my article where I give some tips and advice on how to keep your chickens safe – When do hawks hunt chickens?

Abolish the aggravator

If you’ve figured out the reason for your stressed-out chicken, try removing the reason for stress as soon as possible.

Provide your flock enough stimulation and quality play time out of their coop

You can cuddle your stressed-out chicken and talk to her for a few minutes, so it gets relaxed.

Have a read of my article – Do chickens like hugs?


Sustaining a regular and structured routine of feeding, cleaning, and socializing with your flock is a significant factor for stressed-out and healthy chickens to keep them calm, healthy, and comfortable.


The deficiency of vitamins and malnutrition can be a factor in stressed-out chicken because it is possible that the chicken isn’t able to approach the food or is suffering from a decreased appetite for some reason.

Try hand-feeding your chicken.

See a vet

If the condition of your stressed-out chicken doesn’t improve despite your efforts, consider visiting a credible avian veterinarian.

They will prescribe some medication perceiving the health condition of your chicken.

Wrapping Up 

Stress is the biggest challenge when it comes to the well-being of chickens.

Healthy chickens are active throughout the day, but chickens too can have some bad days, just like humans.

Hens tuck their head into their wings to sleep at night or nap during the day, but if this state is prolonged, it can be alarming.

Chickens can go into a state of stress for some reason and tuck their heads into their wings for most of their time.

It could be an early sign of an underlying disease.

You can learn from their changing behaviors and body language that something is wrong with your.

You should try to figure out the reason by going through the steps mentioned above, but if you are unable to find out by yourself, consider visiting a credible avian vet for expert advice and proper treatment of your chicken.

We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.