Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by airmechreed, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. airmechreed

    airmechreed Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    Colorado Springs
    Ok I see people say that there chickens are squatting. Exactly what is everyone refering to? Sorry new to this and not sure what it means. My leghorns are laying and have been for two weeks now but nothing from my buff orphingtons and they are all about the same age of twenty weeks. My EE is about sixteen weeks so I am not expecting her to lay, but what is squatting and how do you know if your chickens are doing it?
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    First, your BO pullet may take a bit longer to mature than your leghorns, which are a true layer breed. Buff orpingtons are dual purpose, eggs and meat, and they take a bit longer to begin to lay.

    As for squatting, that's what a hen does to allow a rooster to mount her. So, when a hen squats for a person, she is showing submission to her human; you are dominant over her.

    The squat itself is when the pullet crouches down, tucks her head, and holds her wings slightly away from her body. Some hens will also stamp their feet at the same time, but not all do that. Not all hens or pullets will squat for people, either.

    When my hens squat for me, I give a little skritch at the base of her neck by the shoulder blades, another little skritch at the base of her tail feathers, then a soft pat to the middle of her back, telling her "Good girl!"

    They generally stand up after a few seconds and shake their feathers, as they would do after a rooster dismounts. (This motion is instinctive and moves the rooster's sperm up into her body.). I prefer to think she's just rearranging her attire so she doesn't look like she's got "bed feathers." [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
    3 people like this.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    When they squat, they will hunker down and their wings will go out a bit. It is a sign that they are sexually mature and submitting to the rooster. (you) And since eggs come after sexual maturity - it's a good sign eggs are close.
  4. DelilahJones

    DelilahJones Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    gryeyes - I do the same neck tail thing that you do except I tell them I want some eggs....
  5. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    This is the egg squat (sorry I couldn't capture my BR doing it). Notice the wings spread, the crouched body positioning, the lowered head. Though you can't see it she's stamping her feet too.

    Egg squat by Raven Wren Designs, on Flickr
    2 people like this.
  6. airmechreed

    airmechreed Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    Colorado Springs
    Thanks to all for the info.
  7. ScottLovelandCO

    ScottLovelandCO Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2012
    Loveland, CO
    My Coop
    Bed feathers.... haha.. CLASSIC!!!!!! [​IMG]
  8. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    I've seen a couple of my hens just run up to the roo and squat [​IMG] It was funny! Usually they're running away, squawking! I have one pullet, my "special needs" chicken, sometimes she squats when I come out to the pasture or coop...
  9. chardob

    chardob Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2012
    All of my hens squat to me when I approach them. Does that mean they're all "special needs"? [​IMG]
  10. audra72

    audra72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    "Bed feathers"....too funny!

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