Do hens "sun themselves"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by steveg144, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. steveg144

    steveg144 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2011
    Another "weird chickeh behavior" with our two adopt-a-hens Camilla and Nigella. They're in full sun in the back yard, next to each other on the ground. Nice and warm, first really warm day we've had since they moved in with us before Christmas. And they're acting odd: both are bumped up against each other, and they're on their sides, wings splayed out and legs stretched out at odd angles. They almost look like they're splayed out dead! But they seem fine: they get up occasionally and groom themselves, mosey around a bit and forage, then flop back next to each other in these very unbecoming poses. Sometimes when they're posing like this, they close their eyes, it's almost like they're asleep.

    Are they enjoying some rays? Or is this one of those "cause for concern" chicken behaviors? Thanks as always!
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Sounds like they're enjoying the sun, yes! I watched one of my juvie chicks the other day get up and turn around. 30 seconds later I looked out the window and she looked dead - completely splayed out on her side enjoying the sun. If I hadn't *just* watched her turn around, I would have thought she was dead and run outside to check on her.
  3. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Mine do that too. Yeah - they seem to be loving the sun.
  4. elabraleon

    elabraleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2010
    They are SUNBATHING! Isn't it Cute?! I love it when mine do that. Sometimes they'll combine it with a dust bath, flopping around, fluffing all kinds of dirt up under their feathers then stretching out and sunbathing for a while before standing up and shaking all the dust out o their feathers. it's like a chicken spa day! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    yup, yup, yup...mine just loveeee doing that. when I first noticed them doing that, I thought my hen was injured she was lying on her side all stretched out and no moving after she had dug a nice hole in the sand for dust bathing and then I had another one just sitting there. I thought Oh no.. something is wrong and then I walked into the run and they started running around and trying to sneak out the door to go free range. Which they usually do but I had to put groceries away...they are such funny characters....
  6. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Oh, it's so adorable, isn't it? "Some sun and a nap is a part of every chicken's daily routine" - Living With Chickens: Everything You Need To Know To Raise Your Own Backyard Flock
  7. chickiedoo

    chickiedoo Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2010
    I would love to see some pictures if you could get some [​IMG] I've never seen my chickens do this but it sounds adorable!
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    They love to sun bathe. As already mentioned, they also love to dust bathe, and often the two activities are combined into one. Dust bathing looks remarkably like the chicken is having a seizure. If you don't know what that's all about, it can scare the bejeezus out of you.

    They really zone out wen sun or dust bathing, too.

    When I had a chicken in my bathroom "infirmary" along with the chicks in their brooder, this chicken (when feeling better) would hop onto the grate over the top of the brooder, and sun bathe under the heat lamp!

    Here's a photo of two Silver Sebright Roos enjoying the sun.

    Almost looks like a double homicide, doesn't it?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    They almost go into a trance. Yes, they are sun worshippers.
  10. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    Oh, my, yes! And it is scary the first time! Almost as scary as those few day old chicks just dropping over to sleep suddenly. The first time I had mine outside for a bit when they were maybe 4 weeks old or so, one of them did the splayed out on her side with the wings back and legs stretched- I thought there HAD to be something wrong. Nope, just enjoying a nice little nap in the sun.

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