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How much cleaning with the beak is normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeffross1968, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I've noticed my flock doing a lot of cleaning with their beak. No scratching, just pecking around a bunch during down time, especially when it's hot or they're bored. There is only one that currently doesn't put up a big stink if I try and hold her, and I was unable to find bugs on her. I have seen some things flying around my roo from time to time, but they looked like gnats. They have fresh pine shavings (the new coop is only 10 days old) and a layer of DE and I also just added a little bit of poultry dust as well, just to be safe.

    I'm asking here first, because I'd rather not traumatize the flock by having some old fat guy ( me) running around trying to catch them so I can inspect for bugs. So how much of that kind of cleaning is normal?

  2. SIMPleChick

    SIMPleChick Songster

    Mar 10, 2011
    My chickens clean themselves ALL the time! No worries! Unless you see feather loss, blood, scaley/bumpy legs, etc... [​IMG] And if you do go chase after the chickens, make sure you record it and post it here, so we can...uhhh....inspect the chickens too...hehehehe [​IMG]
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Well with your coop being so new and having been dusted I would doubt lice/mites. I've noticed my chickens do preen when they come in the coop for their mid-day siesta and also when they first go to roost at night. And like you mentioned, if it's hot they'll stand around and preen or lay in a shady spot. If you wanted to you could nab a chicken or two off the roost at night to do a quick check without upsetting the whole flock to much.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah...no chasing involved if you go out after dark and grab one - just take it in the house and check it out. I'd guess that your bird is simply preening though.
  5. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:Oh yeah, I'll get right on that. In my speedo [​IMG]

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