OCD-Like behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JustinBroyles, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. JustinBroyles

    JustinBroyles New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jun 6, 2016
    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
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    66,623
    17,554
    836
    May 3, 2009
    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. [​IMG]
     
  3. JustinBroyles

    JustinBroyles New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jun 6, 2016
    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.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,539
    3,773
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    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.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by