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Chicken throwing pine chips on her back

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KayP, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. KayP

    KayP Songster

    Jul 14, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    My newly laying 20 week old Red Star (sweetie-pie) does this weird (and kinda cute) little laying ritual. She crouches in her nesting box turning in circles, scratching, and throwing pine chips over her shoulder. I figure the first two behaviors are about preparing the nest for her egg, but throwing the chips doesn't seem to achieve anything (at least not to this human.) Any ideas?
  2. Probably doing the dust bath thing !!
  3. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I've watched my brahma in one box and the orp in the one next to her. The brahma will sneak her neck over to the next box and steal shavings and toss them behind her! I think it's just part of nest making. If they pile it up around their fluffy butts it may keep drafts out...like when I throw a blanket over me. Who knows...
  4. peeboo

    peeboo Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    fort bragg nc
    sometimes when my hens lay in their boxes, they will pick certain debris out of the nest box and place it nice and neatly on her back, i dont know if that is for camoflage or what but it is indeed quite cute
  5. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    Camoflauge. If she goes broody, she will need to blend in to her surroundings.
  6. KayP

    KayP Songster

    Jul 14, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Camaflauge!! How do you like that?!! These things come so well programmed! What amazing little critters. Thanks, y'all.
  7. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Yeah, it tickles me when they do that. One solitary strand of hay is her cover. That'll do it. Silly chickens! [​IMG]
  8. WA23

    WA23 Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    Northwest WA State
    I just saw this for the first time this morning and was going to post the same question.

    I figured it had something to do with covering up the eggs. Hopefully this does not mean she will go broody. It was a white leghorn that I saw do this and I am under the impression that they do not go broody too often.
  9. Cathryn

    Cathryn In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2008
    I have had silkies not only put pine chips on their back, but dig holes in the pine and straw, lay flat, and hide out from me with as many as eggs as they can cover with their keels, wings, and neck. It is harder for them to get away with it since the barn was remodeled. LOL! Cath
  10. crazy hen quartet

    crazy hen quartet Songster

    Dec 20, 2008
    Chandler AZ
    Huh, I wondered about that too... one of my EEs will get in the nesting box and throw straw up on her back. I didn't know what she was doing!

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