How can you tell what your chicken thinks of you? Of course, there is no precise answer since we cannot fully understand other animals’ brains. However, we can, in general, tell vaguely what they think of their owners.
First, I’ll start out with the first question: does your chicken like you? Or not? Here are some manifest things that can answer that question. A chicken’s temperament toward you is the main thing. If your bird is very flighty and squirms in your hands constantly when you’re holding it, it most likely does not like you. It’s telling you that it doesn’t trust you, it doesn’t want you to hold it, because it doesn’t like you. If your chicken is flighty, yet it doesn’t mind being held, what does that mean? It probably means that your chicken feels insecure when you’re chasing them and trying to catch them, but they feel safe when you hold them. But do they like you? Most likely, they are okay with you, but they aren’t terribly fond of you. When this happens, it can change bird to bird depending on how flighty they are. If your chicken isn’t flighty and doesn’t mind being held, it probably somewhat likes you. However, if your chicken isn’t flighty, loves to be held, and likes to cuddle with you, chances are the bird like you. If your bird does those and flies on you because they want to be held a lot, they are very fond of you.
Second, what is your chicken thinking about when it’s near you? Something I’ve learned in the past few weeks is that you can vaguely tell by observing their eyes. See, chickens obviously don’t use their eyes like humans do, because their eyes are on the side of their head, not of the front. Since they are on the side of their head, each eye serves a different purpose. If a chicken turns it’s head on the right side to look at something, it’s most likely deciphering the difference between something. The right eye of a chicken is used to tell the differences between things, especially when foraging or with feed, so if your chicken looks at you with your right eye it is possibly making sure that you are their owner and you aren’t someone else. If a chicken glances at you with their left eye, it is measuring depth perception. The left eye is dominantly used to measure the distance of something, especially with predators such as hawks or eagles to tell how far away they are.
Lily, looking up at the sky measuring the depth perception of something. Notice the use of her left eye.
Dannielle, looking at the camera with her right eye, probably trying to tell what it was. Notice the use of her right eye.
Can you tell if your chicken is annoyed with you? I’ve deduced that you can. If a chicken is annoyed with you, it will run away from you and go somewhere where you cannot get it such as a tree. It will probably stay there for a while to, until you leave. If you catch it, it will squawk at you several times as if it is talking back saying, “Go away! Leave me alone!” A chicken will also tend to get annoyed more if you are with them a long time. However, I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend as much time with them, eventually they will get used to you. Chickens also tend to get less annoyed if you go to the coop intermittently.
Well, I hope this will help you see, vaguely, what your chicken thinks of you. Chickens are amazing creatures and the more you can learn about them, the more you can understand them. The more you can understand them, the more you can connect with them and give them a good life.