Why do my EE pullets do this when in the nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bayareapilot, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    San Francisco
    Just curious... When my EE pullets are in the nesting box they all seem to like to throw a few pine shavings from the nesting box on their back. Anyone have an idea why they do this?
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    It's actually their attempt to make the perfect nest. They're usually aiming to throw stuff behind them and to their sides to make a nice tight bowl around them. But with shavings, that's not easy, and instead it ends up on their backs.

    'Tis why I use natural bedding of hay and straw.
  3. FrizzlesRule

    FrizzlesRule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2009
    It not just EE'S that do it, all hens do it. My bantams who set quite often do it all the time.[​IMG]
  4. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    San Francisco
    Quote:That makes sense. Thanks!

    Wouldn't long pieces of straw be harder to throw over their backs than small bits of pine shavings? Only problem I'd see with hay is that it is really a 'food' and can tend to mold. Between the two I would pick straw (although I'll say that straw isn't the most comfortable thing to be sitting on). BTW, last I looked, trees grow 'naturally' too. ;0) Always like to remind people that poisonous snake bite and botulism are "natural" - but that doesn't mean they are necessarily good. [​IMG]
  5. dandelionheart

    dandelionheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2010
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Our 1 RIR and 3 BOs have been laying for a while. We keep pine shavings in the nesting boxes and they like them and will scoot stuff around to make a good spot to lay... BUT our EE that is now just laying (less than a week) makes a PERFECT nest. So maybe you are right about EEs just being particular. I haven't noticed that she will flick anything on her back, but she does pay a lot more attention to nest making (and lays in the same box in a set of four in a row).
  6. Luke0987654321

    Luke0987654321 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2009
    hens do that when they are laying or are broody,
    if you just put some hay in a nest box, after the hen has been in there
    you will see that she has made or atemted to make a nest,
    i have a jap. bantam that will actually jump out of the nest and still flick bits
    of hay and twigs on to her back, itsvery funny to watch.

  7. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    All of my 22 pullets throw whatever bedding I have at the time in the nesting boxes over their shoulder onto their back, even after they get out of the box. Not sure why but it is normal if there is any such thing as 'normal'.

    FWIW, I have used pine shavings, sawdust, grass clippings, sand, and alfalfa hay (current). There does not seem to be a preferred one...they toss/kick it all out. [​IMG]
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My EE even pretties herself up after she's out of the nest box. She'll pick up a leaf or a bit of grass and put it on her back as she walks around outside of the coop, after laying.

    I think it's more than just "making a nest." I think it's also part of an instinct to hide the nest, including herself. As if she were in the bushes, pulling in camouflage. Of course, that doesn't explain why mine does it when she's upright, walking around....
  9. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    San Francisco
    Quote:Very interesting thought! That very well could be.....
  10. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    San Francisco
    Quote:I noticed that with my 3 EE's too. They really make a nice little depression to nest in. It is making me rethink whether I should be 'helping' by fluffing up the pine shavings when I'm collecting the eggs. Maybe I should just leave it be so they have to go through less effort each time.

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