Why do the hens put straw on their backs in the nest?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by the simple life, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hens just started laying and was wondering why they take pieces of shavings, hay, a stray feather etc.
    and pick it up in their beaks and drop it onto their backs.
    They do this for a while after they have laid and egg and are just hanging out sitting on it.
    They could be doing it beforehand as well but I just don't notice it.
    They never just lay and egg and get up, they lay it and then sit there for at least a half hour arranging their nest.
    Any reason they do this? I hope its not something that has to do with them going broody, they just began laying last week.
    They are black sex links. Thanks.
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I have seen all of my chickens do this; it's not an indicator of broodiness (at least it hasn't been for my girls), but I've always wondered why they do that, too. Hopefully, someone will come along that knows the answer. I have wondered if, perhaps, this was a habit they had long ago in the wild, to "hide" themselves when they are at risk of being found by a predator?
  3. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I am not sure either. However I have 3 hens that will place shaving on there back before they lay also. Silly chickens. I also have some that just go in and to the deed and leave.
  4. illinichick

    illinichick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    SE Il
    Some of them feel the need to "hide" while laying. Silly girls, maybe they do get tired of us stealing their eggs.
  5. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    LOL our pullet does this! She found a spot (not in the nest box) [​IMG] that was up on a shelf on a trash bag that had old clothes in it. She made a little "nest" and placed strands of grass, string, and anything else she could find! [​IMG] (I even gave her some dried out grass so she could make a better nest) [​IMG] Anyways, she then sat there and got comfy, all the while clucking VERY loudly, as if to tell the other girls that she was gonna lay her first egg! LOL Then she laid it, sat there throwing grass over her back and behind her, making a "nest" still. Then after about 5 minutes, she stood up and left. There was a little brown egg in the tangled mess! hehehe! [​IMG] But it was sooo funny to see her grab anything some toss it behind her. [​IMG]
    I am hoping this is a sign of broodiness, but I'm not sure. Good question, though! [​IMG]
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Probably to camouflage themselves from predators in the wild, when they're on a nest.
  7. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    It looks so funny when they only have like two pieces of shavings on her back, doesn't do a very good job of camouflaging themselves.[​IMG]

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