EE pullet putting shavings on her back/ birds eating shavings

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MaggieRae, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Whenever my EE pullet, Rhonda, lays her egg, she puts shavings on her back. I was curious as to why she does this. Even after she lays, she just sits there and keeps putting shavings on her back. Is she cold? Is she in pain? She sits on the egg, but if I walk up and pet her a bit, she'll jump up to go play with her friends.
    Also, when my chickens are in the coop for whatever reason they decide to eat the shavings... I have no clue why. They have plenty of grit, oyster shell, food, and water.

    Any thoughts? And thanks!

  2. txchickie

    txchickie Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    I've read they are trying to disguise themselves, putting on their camo [​IMG]
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know what's going through their heads when they do that, but it's pretty common, if htat makes you feel any better [​IMG]

    As for eating shavings, are you sure they are eating shavings or are they eating bits of food billed-out into the bedding, or just poking through the shavings looking for something tasty *to* eat. Poking around looking for tidbits is pretty basic chicken behavior. If they're actually eating a meaningful amount of shavings, they are probably bored or hungry. You might see if you can do anything about that, also make sure they have a good supply of grit available free-choice to ensure they can deal with whatever shavings they ingest.

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Quote:They have three 7 lb containers of food, and I keep them all full, so it can't be hunger. Not to mention they get lots of treats on the weekends. So they must be bored. They are actually eating them. Most of them just scratch and play in the shavings, these couple are actually eating them! I don't know if they think they're worms or something... I haven't let them out of the run
    recently what with the freezing weather and a scare with some coyotes, but I guess now that it's a bit warmer I can let them out.
  5. They're so cute, I call this 'demure behavior', it's like they're saying 'Look at me mom, I'm a layer now...' [​IMG]

  6. It`s a nest building impulse. Sometimes they even pull feathers for nesting materials. Thus the term "feathering their own nest"......Pop
  7. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Thanks everyone for all the great replies.
    Here's a picture of her [​IMG]

    Also, I just put fresh shavings in, could that be the reason they're eating them?
  8. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I've seen several of my hens toss bits of grass or hay "over their shoulder" as they are walking around. It's so cute!

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