Why do my chickens pick up shavings and put them on their backs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lilredhenmom, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. lilredhenmom

    lilredhenmom In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2009
    Went out today and cleaned out the coop and had my Red Sex Link and one of my EE hens picking up shavings and putting them on their backs. It was funny to watch. Any reason why they do that?

  2. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY

    I have no idea why they do that but some of mine do that when they are in the nest getting ready to lay. Funny birds! [​IMG] Genie
  3. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    It's a nesting instinct gone wrong. Poor hens have forgotten how to make a good nest!
  4. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    Mine do that too! its so funny just watching them being dorks! [​IMG]

  5. Hens do this to camoflauge themselves while laying. It is a natural instinct that they do this. When hens roamed wild, as they still do in many places of the world, they would hide themselves by covering with whatever materials were at hand to protect themselves from predators during the time that they were laying each egg. By doing this action it also builds a nest of materials around the hen. Many hens have had this bred out of them by years of laying eggs in cages and nests lined with nesting material but the instinct never actually goes away. If you ever get a chance to see a larger type fowl in the wild while it is laying an egg it is like a cocoon around them with usually only their head showing.
  6. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    my button quail hen does this when she wants to build a nest and go broody. Must have something to do with making a nest.

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