Broody hen crawling under other broody hen


May 28, 2018
Northern Illinois
I have two broody hens. They have, together, hatched 15 eggs with 11 chicks surviving. Throughout the whole process, they have switched clutches and they both seem like good mothers. Currently I have them in a brooder coop together with their 11 chicks.

Today I went out to the coop to do my evening rounds and the lighter hen kept crawling under the darker hen. I have not heard of this happening before, and they kept doing it throughout the evening. The coop that they are staying in is big enough for 2 nesting boxes (I took the divider out because the hens were sitting next to each other in the open area while the chicks sat under them) and 2 roosts that can fit 4 birds on them. I also opened up the run a bit today and the lighter hen was still crawling under the darker one.

I want to know if anyone else has had something like this happen before, and if I should be concerned about it or not.



11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
This behavior, a hen trying to burrow under anther hen, is something I see in my flock from time to time. It usually happens at roosting time, another hen will try to bury her head under the wing of another, often causing that other hen to lose her purchase on the perch and tumble off.

I have a group of three large-breed hens that sleep together each night on a low ten-inch perch. Two will try to bury their heads under the others, and one always attempts to wedge herself under the butts of the other two instead of roosting. It's a ritual each evening for me to drag her out from under the two hens and force her to roost beside them.

Why do they do this? I don't know, but I am guessing they like the sense of security it gives them.

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