Why do my chickens put bedding on their backs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickMandy, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. ChickMandy

    ChickMandy Chirping 7 Years

    Jun 7, 2011
    Amaranth Ontario
    Hi. My name is Timber.

    I'm wondering, why do my chickens always put bedding on their backs when they lay eggs?[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thank you!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2011

  2. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Songster

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    They are making a nest. Moving hay/bedding around to their liking.
  3. sparky134

    sparky134 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2009
    Hi Timber, They usually do that after laying an egg and I think they are trying to make a nest for their beautiful egg..
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  4. LT

    LT Songster

    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    One of my girls, Mabelline, sits in the nest box for an HOUR before laying an egg. I swear, I think she relocates every piece of pine shaving until it is exactly the way she wants it. This morning, she had two girls waiting in line to use the nest box, but she was patient, making the nest to her liking. Isn't it sweet?

  5. tamberlin

    tamberlin Songster

    Nov 18, 2010
    Framingham MA
    Hi Timber,
    We have one EE girl (her name is Helena) who likes to make tunnels in the fresh hay to lay her eggs in. Sometimes it's hard to find her when there is alot of hay!
    All the best,
  6. debid

    debid Crowing 7 Years

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Personally, I think it's an attempt to camouflage themselves while on the nest. The more they blend in when they're stuck in one place for a while, the less chance there is that a predator will see them. It makes sense to me. [​IMG]
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Timber, Some of the hens "throw the straw" over their backs pretty well. Some reach out of the box, picking up some more straw and throw it over their backs. Maybe they're making their bed? My mom always told me to make my bed. Could be they are making their laying bed, their nest before they leave. Let's go with that.[​IMG]

  8. ChickMandy

    ChickMandy Chirping 7 Years

    Jun 7, 2011
    Amaranth Ontario
    Thank you everyone! I love my chickens [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. Chic_girl

    Chic_girl Songster

    Jul 23, 2011
    Near Columbus OH
    Hello! Me and my zoology teacher got in a discussion about this the other day (we both raise chickens). Our opinion is that this behavior is a way for the chicken to disguise itself.
    Chickens make easy meals for many predetors, and especially while they are laying or incubating eggs. Putting straw or other bedding on their backs myst make them less likely to be seen by things that want to eat them.
    My nest boxes usually don't contain bedding, so sometimes I will see one of the chickens pretending to place bedding on their backs. Maybe this is something they do automatically and arn't aware of it?

  10. SueBaby

    SueBaby Songster

    Feb 14, 2011
    Oceanside, CA
    I've been noticing the same behavior, with one of my hens-Ginger- in particular. I use t-shirts in my nesting boxes and she cranes her neck out of the box and into the coop to find bedding to place on her back. I think the camouflage explanation makes a lot of sense. Ginger is kind of the odd chicken in our little flock, so I was wondering if it's more of her crazy behavior. She's the only one of my hens that shows any broodiness. I'm glad to see that other hens do this too. [​IMG]

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