Why do they pick up wood shavings

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by erlibrd, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    and toss them onto their backs?? It's very cute but seems kind of neurotic! [​IMG]
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Isn't that a funny little behavior? This instinct seems like a nest building behavior. My hens will settle down to lay an egg and then pick at the bedding or straw. Sometimes she will throw it on her back or just place it close to her side.
     
  3. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I saw one hen doing this out in the run, but yes it's usually done in a nest box.
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe the hen in the run was trying to sand bath in her wood chips. With sand bathing they will scratch the sand up onto the feathers to help clean themselves.
     
  5. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine eat the pine shavings, or at least appear to. I've stopped trying to explain all my crazy chicken's behaviors. I've given up.
     
  6. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have three hens .just before they go to roost they go into a eating frenzy.and i see them eating wood shavings.it
     
  7. scooterward

    scooterward Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is so funny! A couple of mine do that too. And it's when they are laying or just laid an egg. It's not dust bathing, it is placed on purpose. I thought it was interesting but don't know why they do it either.
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It's a fall-back to instinctual memory, to cover themselves whilst setting. Even if they aren't broody and won't "set" eggs, jut lay 'em, some hens have the genetic memory of "cover thyself after laying eggs."

    For nonsense reasons, I like to think they are dressing themselves up after doing An Important Hen Thing.

    "I just laid an egg, see how special and pretty I am!?!"
     
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  9. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    LOL--- yep!

    I also had one put shavings on her back when she was sitting on eggs...... And I also think that they carry material back to the nest on their backs for the interior decorating ideas.
     
  10. Hyline

    Hyline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine do it too, it's so sweet! They like privacy when laying but then round me up to show me the fruits of their labour and look very smug lol!! One hen sets on everyone's eggs to lay, and another kicks other eggs out of the nest first!
     

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