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Placing leaves on her own back??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LesGan, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. LesGan

    LesGan Songster

    Mar 24, 2008
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Have a 1-1/2 year old hen part BO and part?? She has always looked frazzled, has brittle feathers, bare spots, lays thin shelled eggs for several months, and has been eating her own eggs for a few months. I have been doing all the suggested BYC things to break her of egg eating. Today I was at the hen house when she laid her egg and I was able to shoo her off the nest and get the egg. She was not happy, went squawking into the yard and began walking around picking up leaves and putting them on her back. Why was she doing this? I had to laugh....but it was kind of sad too. The other 4 hens and the roo did not pay any attention to her. I have never see this chicken behavior before and would welcome some insight. Thanks

  2. okieroy

    okieroy Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Bethany, Ok
    You need to get a video of that one.
    It kina reminds me of the old testament tradition of putting ashes on your head. Tell me, if you listen real close, can you hear the knashing of hens teeth?
  3. blue fire

    blue fire Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Broody behavior. mine will do that when I put a broody outside. I think it is nest making behavior.
  4. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Her nesting instinct was kicking in. The poor hens think they're making nests by putting leaves on their backs! Mine sometimes do that.
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Hens do that when nesting to disguise themselves from predators. Perhaps she was thinking if she covered herself you would not see her! Make sure she is getting plenty to eat (not driven off by others) and is getting plenty of protein--like extra protein treats. Sounds like she is not getting the nutrition she needs for some reason....
  6. LesGan

    LesGan Songster

    Mar 24, 2008
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Thanks for your feedback. She was mad at me but I had never seen this before. I do believe that she was muttering under her breath as well!! I get the feeling she will never go broody...she is our party gal. Her name is Thelma and she is so ditzy that we love her so. She currently has purple legs because I bathed her to look for mites or lice and treat some raw hinney areas with Blue Kote and overshot my target. I have tried all the vitamins, calcium, protein and she does not seem to change at all. Culling her at this point is not an option....so I clean out her broken eggs from the nest, laugh at her alot and continue to love her. You folks are all the greatest.

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