OCD-Like behavior

JustinBroyles

Hatching
Jun 6, 2016
5
0
7
I have a very petite golden comet that has just come into laying age (maybe for about 10 days?) Everytime she lays, she hops out of her nest, cackles a little, and proceeds to pick up pieces of straw, and throw them behind her, as if she's building a nest or something. It doesn't bother me too much because she gets back to normal within say 30 minutes. It's just very strange and I'd like to know what it is
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
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New Jersey
What is this behavior really? I don't know for sure, but think it is a genetically stored trait from when hens covered their nests to protect them from predators.
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JustinBroyles

Hatching
Jun 6, 2016
5
0
7
I was thinking it was something to that affect . However she'll walk around while she's doing it. And this is after she's already laid and left her nest. OCD likely isn't the culprit but it seems very insistent to me. As if she just HAS to move these small pieces of straw behind her.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,374
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Colorado Rockies
You are actually very on point when you suspect you have a hen with OCD. It actually does happen. Look at feather picking behavior. That's got a strong compulsive element to it. And what's more compulsive than broody behavior?

You see compulsive behavior when chickens choose a victim to bully. And if you've ever gotten your flock a scratch block, you will know how obsessed they can get about something. I have to cover the block in my run when the flock becomes too obsessed with it and they ignore their regular food.

We humans don't have an exclusive on OC behavior. Even dogs and cats and horses are sometimes afflicted with it. In your hen's case, it seems harmless. But I believe that you can call it OCD and not be too far off.
 

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