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The "squat"...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rachel82, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. rachel82

    rachel82 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2013
    Northern Colorado
    Do all chickens do the "squat" before they begin to lay?? I got 2 eggs today and I am assuming they are from 2 different chickens, but my 2nd brown egg layer hasn't begun to squat for me yet. I did hear her sing her egg song a few days ago though...thoughts??
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    No.

    Those that do often stop, after time, too. That is,they no longer squat for their people. It's a sign of submission (not just one of sexual maturity) and they may grow out of the habit.

    Doesn't mean they stop laying, just means they are more confident. ;)

    Quite a few hens never squat for people.
     
  3. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    We have a few hens that avoid being handled which means that I have to take them off the roost at night if they need attention. This spring our Wellsummer, our most standoffish hen, broke her leg and needed to be splinted (until a week ago) and it was a total pain.

    I started to make it a point of picking up and handling the 2013 pullets when they squatted for me and though they are no longer as submissive. the two hens that I did this with are still far easier to scoop up and carry.

    As for squatting, I find that the hens that will be lower in the flock squat but the future boss hens and 2nd in charge hens never do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  4. rachel82

    rachel82 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2013
    Northern Colorado
    That's so interesting...my two that are the highest in the pecking order are my squatters!!
    So, then, you find that not all of your hens that are laying or are about to lay, squat?
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Correct.
     
  6. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    The boldest chicks do not always end up being the boss hen. I have hens four mature and four pullets. One mature hen and two pullets squat when I come near them. The mature hen that squatted as a pullet (Elizabeak) was a bold chick but as she matured she was often nasty to the others and ended up being the #3 (out of four) hen.

    I think that the squatting is an instinctive/submissive mating behavior. Some hens do it for roosters (though others just run when they see him coming!)
     

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