Two questions about chick behaviors....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lizannhollow, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. lizannhollow

    lizannhollow Out Of The Brooder

    76
    3
    33
    Sep 21, 2014
    Round Rock
    I would like to know what my chicks are doing when they rub their beaks on the ground. Its just one back and forth swipe.

    And do chickens sunbathe? I know this one is silly but I swear one of my chicks is doing this. She lays sideways under the heat lamp. She's perfectly healthy, so I'm not worried. I've just never heard of this before. Does anyone else have a sunbathing chicken?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Both are instinctive behaviors. They could be cleaning it, or sharpening it so they can pick up small objects more
    easily.

    I don't know whether they sunbathe. I suspect they do sometimes. What they definitely do is dust bathe, often lying on their side or in other odd positions for a while in the process. You will see them throwing fine, dry soil onto their backs, and "fluffing" it so it gets under their wings. The purpose, presumably, is to remove external parasites -- but they certainly show every sign of enjoying it, too.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,873
    2,847
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Yes, they are cleaning their beaks, and yes, they are sun bathing. Both are instinctive behaviors.

    The sun bathing comes naturally because chickens absorb vitamin D through their feathers much as humans do through our skin. Any heat source will trigger this behavior. Indoor pet chickens have been observed basking themselves on the hearth in front of a fireplace.

    The beak cleaning is a response to any matter clinging to their beaks. Just wait until they get a bit older and decide your sleeve or pants leg is the perfect beak cleaning implement.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. lizannhollow

    lizannhollow Out Of The Brooder

    76
    3
    33
    Sep 21, 2014
    Round Rock

    Lol good thing I'm used to being a cleaning implement already. My kids love using me like a giant tissue.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by