Chickens biting at nub on upper back

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by notv, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. notv

    notv Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I've noticed one of my chickens really biting onto a little nub/nipple looking thing on her upper back, it's not in or near her vent, but above it.

    Then, I noticed another hen doing the same maneuver. Never noticed this before last week (had them almost a year now).

    What is this nubby thing? Is there a purpose for it -- is this where they secrete the fluid for their feathers? Should I be concerned about this behavior?

    Many thanks!
    Steve
     
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    May 25, 2007
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    That's their oil gland or "preen gland" they take oil from it and apply it to their feathers.
     
  3. notv

    notv Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Portland, OR
    aha! many thanks for the insight.
     
  4. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    I used to be worried about the "wart" on my chickens' backs too.....until I read about oil glands! I was young and foolish back then.
     
  5. Chickadoodoo

    Chickadoodoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2012
    Washington State
    i saw that on my chicken too and i was worried glad i know what it is!
     

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