Interesting laying behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tpantali, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. tpantali

    tpantali In the Brooder

    May 16, 2007
    Finger Lakes New York
    I had the good fortune over the weekend to sit in the coop and watch our only layer, lay an egg. I found one aspect of it to very interesting.

    She got in the nest and settled in. She sat there for bit but then came back out. She walked around the coop picking up feathers and big pieces of the litter one at a time, turn her head to the right then to the left, dropping each item she picked up form left to right and so forth. It kind of reminded me of when someone would throw salt over their shoulder.

    I found it be wild, like it was some sort of superstitous prep for egg laying. After she laid the egg, she came back out and did the same thing. Then she sat on my lap and let me pet her for awhile, which was oh so sweet, before stepping out the door and yelling out to the world.
  2. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    You know, I noticed my silkie mix doing something similar the other day. She is the brown one in my avatar!

    She came out of the coop and was in the run, and was picking up bits of grass and leaves and flinging them over her shoulders, doing it often enough that she had some landing all over her back. Then she went back inside and after waiting, I peeked and saw she was in the nest. A little while later she came out of the coop, and I saw she had pine shavings piled on her back (no, I still haven't found a place to buy grass hay for the boxes) and then I checked and she had laid an egg. It looked like she had been flinging shavings on herself in there.

    She is a real character, so I thought it was just another way she is "special" but maybe other chickens do that too I guess.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    I've noticed that my best broody hen, Tina, will do that when she is sitting on a clutch. I wonder if they are trying to blend in with their surroundings?
  4. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    Absolutely fascinating.
  5. Blondie

    Blondie Songster

    My hens have just started laying. I was hanging around the coop when I noticed Lucy, my white leghorn, sitting there with a gazed look in her eyes. **Think children trying to go to the bathroom** [​IMG] She then got up and looked between her legs. A present!!! A beautiful egg. Thanks, Lucy!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Haha, I've caught my hens doing that. It's so silly. :p
  7. VtotheICA

    VtotheICA In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2017
    I have just had the pleasure this weekend of catching two of my Golden laced Wyandotte hens doing the over the shoulder toss. Shavings all over their backs. I laughed out loud. I would be very curious to know why they do this?
  8. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    I think it's their attempt at covering up their nest to keep it concealed. It does look cute. My Button quail take great care to cover up their nest completely when they are laying a clutch.
    aart and VtotheICA like this.

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