Strange Behaviors - pre-egg laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MN Girl in MS, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. MN Girl in MS

    MN Girl in MS Hatching

    Apr 30, 2014
    I have 6 red sex-linked pullets 18-19 weeks old. They are showing signs of getting ready to lay (bright red combs, broadening bottoms). This morning 5 of them were away from their house on the far side of their yard and acting very agitated. One was by herself in the house. The other five were clucking and then starting scratching the dirt like crazy until they turned it into dust and then were laying in the dust and fluffing themselves around in it. I had never seen them do that before. I back out to check on them, and now they seem to have settled down some, but the one was still in the house by herself. What's up?
  2. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Songster

    Jan 29, 2014
    West Tennessee
    It sounds as if the 5 were dust bathing.... Mine do that all the time, it helps them keep bugs off..... As for the 1 in coop, she might be fixing to lay and checking the boxes out.... Normally I have 1 hen in the coop laying while the others are out roaming... When she comes out another 1 goes in.... You should be getting eggs soon!! :)
  3. Aronia

    Aronia Songster

    Apr 8, 2014
    St. Catharines, ON
  4. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    As far as the scratching in the dirt and looking possessed LOL this is one of the funniest things to watch-its the chickens dust bathing-a FAVORITE pastime.

    I don't know what to tell you about why the one was staying behind inside the coop. Maybe getting ready to lay? Usually it will be pretty obvious when a hen is ready to lay: They will begin doing a frantic pace (like a child needing to go to the bathroom), and start "bok bok BOOoooOOkking" a very different sound than their usually noise. They will get in and out of the nest box a million times etc.
  5. MN Girl in MS

    MN Girl in MS Hatching

    Apr 30, 2014
    Thanks, all. All six are back together now, no egg. But they all still seem sort of agitated today, usually when I call them, they come running to see what I've brought them, but today they are staying back like they are apprehensive. They do tend to all copy each other, so it could be just one and everyone else is following along.

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