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Sun bathing chickens!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We currently have a barred rock, a white leghorn, a cochin, and an ameraucana. They are really sweet 5 month old pullets. We notice that they LOVE to sunbathe. Does anyone know why they do this? When we first saw one of them sunbathe, it looked as though its wing had been dislocated. Scared us to death! They look silly doing it! Why do they sunbathe?

post #2 of 12

They're probably trying to dust-bathe - mine always seem to prefer to do it in a sunny place. If you get a bag of play sand and put it in their preferred spot, they will love it!

See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Luna, a white Silkie, Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Lola, a Barred Rock, Ginger, an EE and Summer, a BO.

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See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Luna, a white Silkie, Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Lola, a Barred Rock, Ginger, an EE and Summer, a BO.

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post #3 of 12

Mine adore sunbathing too. It is the first thing they do when I open the coop in the morning. Their big box o playsand and DE is in the coop, so they can dustbathe as much as they want in there. But as soon as they are out, they go find a sunny spot and stretch out for a while before going to scratch around!

My backyard flock: 9 Araucana girls, 2 Araucana boys, 1 Olive Egger!

 

Mini Yooper Goats and Other Critters

My website for my Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Araucana Chickens, and Magpie Ducks

 

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My backyard flock: 9 Araucana girls, 2 Araucana boys, 1 Olive Egger!

 

Mini Yooper Goats and Other Critters

My website for my Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Araucana Chickens, and Magpie Ducks

 

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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Here is one of mine sunbathing. So funny! smile


http://i1115.photobucket.com/albums/k555/Jechica4/P1020208.jpg

post #5 of 12

What a pretty and happy girl! smile

See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Luna, a white Silkie, Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Lola, a Barred Rock, Ginger, an EE and Summer, a BO.

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See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Luna, a white Silkie, Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Lola, a Barred Rock, Ginger, an EE and Summer, a BO.

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post #6 of 12

What was the outside temperature when they did this?  Did they have access to shade?

If they were doing this in hot weather I would say that they were trying to rid themselves of excess body heat which would be an indicator of overheating.


Edited by BoltonChicken - 6/26/11 at 4:29pm
It takes a really smart chicken to be smarter than no chicken at all.
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It takes a really smart chicken to be smarter than no chicken at all.
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

The temperature was about 92 today. They have access to a lot of shaded areas and she goes back and forth throughout the day between shade and sun. This was when I first let her and her coopmates (haha!) out of their coop for the day.

post #8 of 12

Found these two links with info on sunbathing.
This one is for birds in general:
http://birding.about.com/od/birdbehavior/a/Bird-Sunning.htm

And this one is for chickens specifically:
http://labanimals.awionline.org/pubs/cq02/Cq-chick.html

The short answer:
"Daylight controls and triggers many of their physiological processes. It also stimulates their metabolism, plays an important part in the formation of red and white blood cells and of vitamin D, and promotes the secretion of hormones necessary for growth and reproduction."

post #9 of 12

Mine usually sunbathe together stepping on one another to lay in the perfect spot.

post #10 of 12

Sun bathing = vitamin D. Chickens are stupid but their instincts from 1000's of years of natural selection still work quite well.

Dominiques, Delawares,RIR . Rabbits as well.

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Dominiques, Delawares,RIR . Rabbits as well.

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