Chickens grooming each other?


9 Years
Mar 24, 2010
I have 3 chickens I keep indoors for now (long story--neighbor's being a butt--but once I complete the variance paperwork to keep them outside, he will not have a leg to stand on). I saw some interesting behavior earlier today. One of mine (my EE) had hollowed out a space at the bottom of the cage and looked as if she were taking her midafternoon siesta, as she was half-lying on her side and quite comfortable. The other 2 girls came near her and started picking at her gently, almost like when you see monkeys grooming each other (except chickens don't have hands!). The resting chicken didn't mind at all, she just shifted position periodically while the other two gave her the once-over. Has anyone else ever seen this? I've never seen my girls do this and it was interesting to watch!
Yup. I see it between the flock "buddies." Some of my pullets have BFFs, apparently.

Rebecca, an EE, and Buffy, a BO, have been BFFs. (And Rebecca is sort of lost right now, because Buffy is broody, setting on 3 eggs and a golf ball. Poor Rebecca has nobody special to free range with her.) But they used to sun-bathe next to each other, and pick bits of whatever off each others' feathers. In the brooder right now, I have 5 week old chicks, and two of the four occupants are very fond of each other and do the same, even roosting next to each other on the little baby roost bar I have in there for 'em.
Ha, your BO is named is mine! I wanted to name her something else but "Buffy" just stuck, and seemed to fit her perfectly. All my 3 get along pretty well so it is nice to see. Does your Buffy chatter a lot? My Australorp only says something once in while when I'm cuddling her, and my EE says nothing when I have her in my arms, but Buffy has a pretty frequent commentary going!
My chicks pick at each others butts. I don't know if that's the same or if that's normal, but it sure is funny to watch. My older 3 girls only peck at loose feathers on each other, otherwise it's an "I tolerate you, now leave me alone." The only time they're nice to each other is in the coop. 3 chickens to one nesting box. It's funny to peek in and see 2 butts and a head.
Yes, I too thought I should name her something much more original, but she was SO intrepid as a chick, that Buffy The Vampire Killing Chicken just stuck. Of course, I shorten that to "Buffy." Right now, the only thing she has to say is that chittering warning to leave her eggs alone. Normally, she's a bit chatty. On the other hand, my Australorp is VERY chatty. She tells me all about everything going on in the flock (I think). My EE is also quiet.

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