Help- What are my young hens doing in these pictures? **Updated**

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JackInCT, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. JackInCT

    JackInCT Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    CT
    My four hens are about twenty weeks old, not laying yet. Several times this past week I've seen them doing a strange new trick that I can't figure out. They'll lie in the mulch of a flower garden by the house, puff up their neck feathers, and lopsidedly stretch out one wing. They don't stay like that more than a few minutes- they keep sort of nuzzling each other's extended wing, causing the bird to stand up, take a couple steps, and lie back down to do it again, like they were taking turns.

    At first I thought maybe it was a temperature regulation thing, but both days I've seen them do this it's not been hot or cold. I've only seen them do this in the one mulched garden, in the sun. Usually my hens stick to the shade.

    To my inexperienced eye, it looks like they're nesting and shielding a flock of imaginary chicks under their wing. Perhaps someone who knows better could give me a more realistic answer for what on earth my hens are up to?

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    Update: The consensus seems to be my feathered friends are taking a well-earned sunbath. Thanks so much for everyone's input!
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  2. CrazyCatNChickenLady

    CrazyCatNChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Berry Creek, Ca
    Getting a tan! [​IMG]
     
  3. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2011
    Western NC
    My Coop
    Enjoying a sunny day!
     
  4. maxxsmommy

    maxxsmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2011
    Minnesota
    laying out in the sun~ and if you see them getting all poofy and moving around while laying in the sun they are dust bathing [​IMG]
     
  5. JackInCT

    JackInCT Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    CT
    At first I thought they were dust-bathing, but they aren't! They lie perfectly still, which is weird because they're usually very energetic. I can see where they might be sun-bathing though...
     
  6. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    they're chillin' ...
     
  7. Spud Chicken

    Spud Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2011
    Idaho
    My hens do it too, and some times they almost look dead.
     
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    They're soaking up some sun! Mine do it all the time [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Yes, that's sun bathing behavior. Sometimes mine will be walking along like normal, encounter a nice sunny patch, and they just flop down right there, spreading out the wing as they roll slightly onto their sides.

    Mmmmmmmmm, nice and warm!
     
  10. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    My babies do that when they're taking a power nap. Beautiful girls!
     

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