Chicks laying on their sides


In the Brooder
May 5, 2015
First, I am a brand new 3 weeks into raising chickens... I LOVE to watch my babies! I have noticed the youngest black chicks will do a weird thing where they lay on their side, kick their legs and fluff their feathers, then extend their wings. This is in the kennel inside. When outside in the tractor, they get on the ladder sideways, try to extend their wings a bit and lay almost upside down under the heat lamp. When gravity takes over, they jump off the ladder and eat with the rest of the chickens, then after a bit do the same weird behavior.

Anyone else seen this before?
It's instinctive behavior for a dust bath. They don't have any dirt on the ladder, but they are trying anyway. Mine would lie down in the pine bedding and do the same thing. They are loving their outside run with REAL dirt!
Ahhh, thank you!! There is no such thing as dirt here in OK right now due to so much rain. Ihate them being cooped up as much as they have been so race home from work to let them play before it get too cold/dark or rains.

Dust baths... brand new concept to me! Cant wait to see them when the ground isnt soggy then!!!
Yep, they dust bathe to help with mites and other parasites. Mine would be rolling around in the pine bedding at 2 weeks sometimes. They will make a spot in the yard to do it as well when they get outside. Mine have spots in the coop and a few others in the yard where they free range. My pretty white cochin is dirt colored a lot of the time when she has been dust bathing!
Here are two of mine when they were probably around 3 weeks "bathing" in fireplace ash. It's amazing how shiney & clean they look after shaking off the ashes.

oh wow. Should I make sure they have something? I have grill ashes that arent wet
They'll be fine with any bedding you have. Some people put a pan of sand in the run or coop with them so they can bathe in that.
I couldnt get them to repeat the flopping around type of thing, but here they are basking in the heat lamp on their sides on the ladder. Such cute things.[VIDEO]

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