Weird hen behavior

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dbbd1, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. dbbd1

    dbbd1 In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2012
    Ever since we got some of our hens (and they matured), a silver-laced Wyandotte would squat with her head lowered and slightly flare her wings when I came near (but not always). The black Maran would not. I assumed it was something with the breed. Now that we have a couple of more hens (americaunas) that have matured, they are doing it too. Did they learn it from the first hen? Is it simply a submissive behavior? Just curious.

  2. what you are seeing is called an ''egg squat'' most pullets start doing it when they start to lay some hens will keep doing it for a long time while others won't ever do it, i like it personally they look so funny when they do it! [​IMG]
  3. oakhollow

    oakhollow In the Brooder

    Nov 1, 2015
    Do you have a rooster? I'm guessing no, since they are doing it to you. Because they are telling you they are willing to mate.
  4. i have a roo and they have never done that when he mates them, they started doing it when they started laying

  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Mine started right before laying and I have some some that will do it as a submissive gesture if my roo comes up in back of them.
  6. orpington13

    orpington13 Songster

    Mar 3, 2014
    Our hens always do that. It is really funny.
  7. mpmb1227

    mpmb1227 Chirping

    Jan 28, 2015
    Stanwood, Washington
    I definitely would say this is an indication of willingness to mate. My hens do this sometimes and if you watch the rooster take care of business, you'll notice that they are in the same position. It's convenient if you like to hold your hens! When I got my new roo, they stopped doing this with me because they no longer thought of me as the rooster.

  8. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Songster

    Feb 3, 2016
    They are indeed offering themselves up for mating. It is a submissive gesture that they begin to do when they hit maturity. I thought it looked a lot like a curtsy when my hens first started doing it. It makes them easier to catch and handle, if you care for that sort of thing you can reinforce that behavior by rewarding them for doing it. This is accomplished by maintaining eye contact and reaching down to press gently on their backs. This in their chicken mind gives them the impression that a Rooster has mounted them and they will allow you to pick them up at that point quite easily or just go on about their day feeling better about themselves.
  9. dbbd1

    dbbd1 In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2012
    Nope, no rooster. And it does make it easier to pick them up. They will stay like that until I pick them up (usually to put them in the henhouse, if they are not already there, where there are treats waiting) or until I walk a distance away.

  10. Sabrina24

    Sabrina24 In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2015
    I always assumed it was a rooster related thing, too. Until we got a rooster, most of our hens would do the same when our youngest would approach them. He was about 4.

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