Why are my chickens laying in the sun?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by homeycow, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. homeycow

    homeycow Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    North Texas
    I just checked the thermometer on the coop porch, in the shade, and it reads 97. Why on earth are some of my free ranging hens laying IN THE SUN? [​IMG] They are laying down with one wing spread out to the side. They look dead, but they're not. There is shade all over the place, and lots of puddles and wet dirt under the bushes where they usually hang out, not 2 feet away from where they are laying.

    Can anyone help me understand this strange behavior?
  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:Well, assuming that they're not dying of heat stroke (at 97 degrees I'd be careful and watch for that), I guess they are just sunbathing and/or dust bathing. Chickens like to sunbathe, but at 97 degrees you'd think they would be hot and want to be in the shade. I'd watch them closely and maybe force them into the shade if necessary.
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    If they were in the puddles, they are probably drying out. Chickens also instinctively know when they need 'sunshine vitamins.' They also know that lice and mites dont like sunshine neither and will take a dust bath. Dont worry, it's normal.
  4. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    why do people lay in the sun?
  5. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    chickens like to sunbathe. it won't last long. they'll soon go find their favorite moon crater to dirt bathe.
  6. denasfarm

    denasfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    My free rangers have been sunbathing today too and its over 100* (108* heat index)
    That lasted a while and now they are all playing in the summer rain shower.
    Its normal daily activity for chickens. I guess they get tired of bug hunting and do something else.
    Just make sure they have shade or shelter available for them if they want to use it.
  7. homeycow

    homeycow Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    North Texas
    Thanks a bunch to all you speedy people for your quick responses. I just checked and everyone is back under the bushes, so I guess all's well that ends well. Maybe this heat has scrambled my brains, because I am worrying much more than normal about my birds this summer. You all reassured me, and next time I see this nutty behavior I won't worry!
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I think it also helps "bake" out mites.
  9. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine have been 'sunbathing' this week in our 100+ temps. They don't do it long but looks like they are enjoying it. Personally, I do everything I can to stay OUT of the sun! [​IMG]
  10. Siler

    Siler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Mine sit in the sun right after they've dug holes in my flower gardens. It's like they're drying the fresh dirt they just packed under their armpits. Such weird little creatures! [​IMG]

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