What's going on with my hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by new_to_the_coop, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. new_to_the_coop

    new_to_the_coop Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    HI everyone,

    My 15 week old hen has been acting VERY strange lately. She has made herself a "nest" under the feeder. They have nesting boxes, but she is curled up under the feeder. Plus, she is only 15 weeks old, too young to lay. She is "lethargic" but alert, and is letting me hold her. I can get her up and moving for a VERY SHORT time, but then she goes right back to her "nest". Also, although she is acting very tame, she has pecked me VERY hard when I do get her up. She has never done this before.

    My other hen is acting relatively normal.

    Oh, and she is laying somewhat off to her side. And she "rolls" in the floor grit (to the point where she has covered herself in dirt).

    What do you think this us? Is she sick? Or has she matured VERY quickly and ready to lay? [​IMG]
  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    Sounds like she's taking a dirt bath...they do that to rid themselves of lice, mites (doesn't mean they have these on them, just something they do). You'll also find them digging a hole and laying on their side to sun bathe.

    I'll leave the rest up to the experts.
  3. BookWorm243

    BookWorm243 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Franklin, NC
    She is taking a dust bath [​IMG] It's normal all chickens do it's just a normal thing my 3 chicks start taking dust baths at 3 weeks old!
  4. new_to_the_coop

    new_to_the_coop Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    It is definitely a dirt bath that she is giving herself. I did some research and see that some hens do lay as early as 15 weeks?!?!?! Wow. Maybe she is getting ready to give us her first egg? They are mixed breeds, bred by a local farmer for superior egg production. I hope this is the case. I'd hate to think she was sick...

    But, she has been acting this way for about 4 days now (no egg yet). Is this normal before the first egg? As you can see I am new to all of this (these are our first hens).

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