Are my chickens bowing to me? And other questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CatsCrazyCoop, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. CatsCrazyCoop

    CatsCrazyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    Putnam Valley, NY
    Ok, I am curious.

    When I pet my girls, they developed a new behavior... they sort of bow. Their head goes down, wings out a little bit, tush up in the air and sometimes the feathers around their head & neck will puff out. They are about 22 weeks old. Is this normal? Is it good? Or does it mean they are all plotting to kill me one day? Ollie, my Buff Orpington never really let me pet her... and now she is doing the bowing thing. Nugget also does it, she is my Dominique - but she was always my baby.

    NOW.. for egg laying.

    Ok - I have 7 standards (21-22 weeks)

    My first egg was really small and a medium brown... laid 7 days ago
    My second egg was long, and thin and a very very very light brown, almost white... laid 4 days ago

    Is this from the same bird do you think?
    Why is it taking so long between eggs?
    How long does it usually take for them to be regular daily layers?

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    The bowing behavior is called squatting. It is a submissive gesture, and their way of saying that you are a "handsome roo" [​IMG]

    I've never had a pullet lay very differently colored eggs, so my vote is different pullets are laying.
    It takes a bit for pullets to figure out the egg-laying thing
    I usually have things kind of even out in a few days after they starting to lay.

  3. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    Squatting is also a way of saying that we're ready to lay if we aren't laying already! [​IMG] Hens do normally lay the same color egg with not too many differences so if you are getting different colors, then you have more than one laying.
  4. RattlesnakeRidgeWV

    RattlesnakeRidgeWV Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
  5. CatsCrazyCoop

    CatsCrazyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    Putnam Valley, NY
    Awww, I'm a handsome Roo!

    I was afraid they hated me. I would die.

    Do they lay during the day? How long does it take?? I see them sitting in the nesting boxes, but they don't seem to do much.
  6. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    They are definitely squatting for you. If you want to have fun, when they do that scratch their back and/or their sides near their tail. Different pullets respond differently. Some will drum their feet, some will squawk and quite often after they will walk away, frill their feathers and shake sort of like a wet dog. It is funny.

    Squatting is not really a sign of egg laying as much as it is a sign of their maturity. Just because they squat doesn't necessarily mean eggs are coming any day. Some pullets won't squat before laying. I had folks telling me when my girls started squatting that I would have eggs 'any day'. I had some pullets squatting for 3-4 weeks before they started laying.

    It IS an encuraging sign insofar as it tells you they've reached egg laying maturity. So be ready and check that nesting box daily (as if you're not already!).
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:They will probably lay mostly during the day. If memory serves the egg laying cycle is 25 hours, So for good laying breeds you will get nearly an egg a day.
    Sitting in the nest box may or may not be related to egg laying. Some like to sit, sleep, poop in the nests.

  8. CatsCrazyCoop

    CatsCrazyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    Putnam Valley, NY
    Quote:Ok, well since you said that...
    I can admit now.. I scratch the top of their butts, near the tail - sort of like I do with my cats and they LOVE IT! Well, they don't run. Nugget squawks at me and puffs out. Ollie shimmies a little... I just didn't know if I was a weirdo - but one of my dogs love it and my cats too - so I figure, what the hey!!! Nugget actually looks for it The second I open the door she is there.. I put my hand on her back and she squats.
  9. Feral tabby

    Feral tabby Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 10, 2011
    Our girls do that as well. We're first time owners (about 3 months) of three hens rescued from an egg farm. Ruby, who is at the bottom of the pecking order, displayed this behavior first and the other followed within a week or two. It makes sense that it's a submissive girl thing. They see us as their protectors and caretakers...first they've had in their lives! We like to scritch them under their wings, which makes their neck feathers fluff out and when we release them they do a big old shake. It's adorable [​IMG]
  10. bustermommy

    bustermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    My pullet who squats for me shakes herself and then struts off like she's saying "yeah, I'm hot" and making sure the others notice. [​IMG]

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