Hen covering herself with shavings

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by maco5, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. maco5

    maco5 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I know I read somewhere about this behavior but can"t find it, so I'm asking.

    Today my RIR was acting wo weird!
    I now she was gong to lay an egg cuz she was being super loud, and kept going in and out of the coop.
    At one point she went in, made a little nest, and laid down.
    But no egg.
    Then she was putting the shavings on her back!
    What is that all about???

    Also, while she was in her little "nest", another hen came in and got under her and just stayed there.

    Eventually she did lay an egg by the way!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  2. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    I was just going to say that she was being overly aggressive in scratching up a nest when you said she buried herself in pine shavings. But the other hen getting underneath her threw me. How cold is it in your coop?They could just be trying to conserve heat.
  3. UrbanChickenMama

    UrbanChickenMama Songster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    LOL!!! [​IMG]

    I have no idea WHY they do it, but mine does too!
  4. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I have learned not to question the Mysterious Way of the Chicken [​IMG] I think it's just an ancient chicken laying ritual.

    Mine don't do this, but I think that's mostly because all but one are lazy freeloaders. I have heard of others' chickens doing this, and I'm sure it's normal (for a chicken, anyway).
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  5. Sounds like an attempt at a dust bath. If it is cold in the coop they could be trying to waddle down for warmth. sometimes they all pile up in a chicken 3 dog nite type thing and they all scratch their way to the center.
  6. Kitchenella

    Kitchenella In the Brooder

    Oct 11, 2008
    Beitar Illit, Israel
    I have only one hen laying. The other two aren't quite old enough yet. But they all seem to want to be in the nesting box. At first I got excited thinking they younger ones were ready to lay but I think they just want to keep the older one company. Meanwhile the nesting box is gonna get crappy I'm afraid.

  7. curliet

    curliet Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    west Michigan
    I remember posting about this myself a while back. A lot of times I see my chickens pick up shavings and throw them over their shoulders and onto their backs. This is while they are in the nest box getting ready to lay. Someone said that it might be that they are trying to camouflage themselves in the material so predators or enemies can't see them while they are vulnerable. Makes sense to me. But who knows what those girls are really thinking??
  8. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    Quote:Mine do it sometimes too-- but I think when mine do it it's like dustbathing--- they dig in a little furrow, then kick up dirt or shavings onto their backs.
  10. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I have seen that in most of my hens that are going broody.

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