Why is she squatting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Majak5, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Majak5

    Majak5 Chirping

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    I have a 12 week old hen that squats when I pet her, it’s only started in the last week, I know she isn’t scared of my coz she has always loved cuddles and she isn’t laying yet coz she is only 12 weeks old. Why is she squatting? P.S. this is my hen ‘Sammy’ that is squatting. 430B4199-6001-4093-86C5-9ACC9791C89F.jpeg E6B4A75A-8949-4FA6-A7D2-28BA09BC27E0.jpeg 987892A4-86F2-4D81-8050-4DC10DCC1B99.jpeg
     
  2. Squatting usually means they will come into lay soon, but she seems too young for that. It can also be a submissive thing. Where does she fall in the pecking order?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
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  3. Majak5

    Majak5 Chirping

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    She us probably the second in command, my alpha chicken was picking on my newest chicken so I separated the alpha, so now this one would be the new alpha
     
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  4. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Crowing

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    Squatting is mating behavior. She feels that you are her rooster, and so she puts herself in the chicken mating position... That said, yes... its usually seen as a prelude to laying. Thing is, 12 weeks is awfully young for laying. So she's probably just an early maturing girl. I wouldn't start looking for eggs until her comb and face turned red.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    It's also an instinctive submission reaction/behavior that has nothing to do with mating.
    She's way too young to be squatting for sex...she may have been startled.

    Just because a bird is picking on another doesn't mean she the 'alpha'.
    Separating a bird that is 'picking on' another may help the situation ...or not.
    There is pecking all down the pecking order line, it's a normal communication behavior.
    Extreme pecking can have several causes...lack of space and feeding stations would be the first things to look at. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    You just added a new bird(just one?), how did you integrate/introduce that new bird?
    Here's some tips on....
    Integration Basics:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

    Adding a single bird can be even trickier, best to avoid it, but this might help if it is unavoidable:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/
     
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  6. One of my girls who is low in the pecking order squats for a couple of the higher ranked girl. Even my top hen squats for the one who plucks her back feathers. Most of the squat for me when the are in lay. It’s all pretty fascinating.
     
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  7. alexa009

    alexa009 Crossing the Road

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    She is definitely not showing any signs of maturity which confirms that it's not the egg squat. She is showing submissive behavior towards you is what I would think.
     

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