Beak Scratching?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PAChickenChick, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. PAChickenChick

    PAChickenChick Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Ok, this isn't urgent or anything, I'm just curious....

    When my girls are eating something for the first time, sometimes they will stop eating...lean down to the ground and scratch their beak on each side. It almost looks like they are wiping their mouth off.
    I think it happens most when they don't like a food because they rarely will return to eating what ever it was...but I'm just curious. It seems like such a perculiar thing to do...especially when you are willing to eat your own bad could something else taste to you? hahaha
  2. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    My chickens will wipe their beaks when they eat something they do not like.
    In fact, my young ones are SO generous. Very often they will grab poop off the ground then land on my lap to wipe their beak off. [​IMG]

    However, that said- I discovered that one of my little ones (seven weeks old) is having some sort of respiratory issue, the same way.
    She flew onto my lap, wiped her beak off. No big deal until she did it a few times. So, I started investigating. Liquid coming from her nostrils also. ANd if I kind of stroked her throat it made her wipe her beak again, and do that stretch, yawn behavior, then wipe her beak.

    I had just filled their water- and they all act like they cant drink enough when I bring their water back in- (as if they have ever been deprived of water!) so I am still trying to decide if she drank too much, and was regurgitating or if she actually is sick.
  3. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    My youngest does that a lot too. They also use their beaks as a kind of spoon to stir up the food to check if there is anything nicer at the bottom of the dish.
  4. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Also, the beak scratching is nessecary for them to keep their beak from over growing. If you have ever seen an untrimmed cage raised chicken, you will see the what happens. That is why all my show chickens are on the ground.

  5. madgoosefarm

    madgoosefarm In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2008
    Sapulpa, OK
    I have found that my crew does that after eating treats that I KNOW they like. I just thought they were being tidy! As the only tidy thing they do, as much as I love the girls and roos, they are fairly nasty creatures!
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Yeah, mine wipe their beaks after food they DO like, yogurt for example. There was the one time they tried banana, decided they didn't like it, and immediately wiped their beaks on my pants leg. I took it as a commentary. [​IMG]
  7. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Songster

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    My DH doesn't spend too much time with the chickens although he's good about building things for me......anyway, the other day he was out there when I gave them some yogurt and he saw them doing that. He had the most amazed look on his face when he came around the coop to tell me! He looked like a little boy telling something new he just discovered! [​IMG]
    He has so much to learn....wait till he sees the incubator I am finishing up building! hehehehe [​IMG]

  8. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I thought they were sharpening their beak to make sure it hurt when they pecked me when I take their eggs out from underneath them. LOL.

    this is how they file the beak down and keep it clean.

    Mine are fond of hoping up on the day roost in their run and using the boards to wipe their beak.
  9. EngieKisses

    EngieKisses Songster

    Jul 10, 2008
    Collinsville, Oklahoma
    Having a cement perch can help with their beak and nails!

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