wierd squatting behavior


12 Years
Oct 16, 2010
all of a sudden, coinciding with our first eggs, do our girls squat all funny when we come around or reach into the coop? they never did this before. it looks like they will lay down on their tummies and then their wings go out to the side all funny and they just squat there till I move.
also, i have younger birds that lay on their sides with a wing up , are they too hot? why do they do this?
can you tell I am new to chickens and have too many questions?

also have a problem with the girls pecking each other bloody......but that is a whole nother thread!! any help would be much appreciated!!
when ours are outside and they do the squat thing, we pick them up and scratch them at the base of the neck. I think its actually a pathetic attempt at a defensive behavior actually, but our chickens will perch on our arms after we scratch so it cant all be bad. And i believe i read some where that they on the side with one wing up is temperature regulation but ours stopped doing it once they got their full feather in all the way. "Its just a theory, I'm probably wrong".
Squatting does usually make its appearance along with first eggs. They squat to get into position for mating. They are basically saying that they recognize you as the roo, or the dominant figure, and will do it whether you have any roos around or not. Totally normal and natural. I have 5 roos and sometimes if I move too quickly over the heads over some of my flock, they will squat.

When your birds lay on their sides with wings up, is it in the sun? Mine do that when they are sunbathing and sometimes when they're dustbathing. They're just absorbing some rays/warmth, again totally normal. I panicked momentarily the other day when I was out with my Great Pyr pup and saw a "flattened" pullet- I thought the pup had stepped on her, but then the chicken moved and I realized she was just relaxing in the sun.
The squatting means that they see you as roosters.
They just do that for humans for some reason. Ours like me better, but the squat for both of us. In our limited experience squatting preceeds egg laying by 1-4 weeks and also is more likely to happen with an actively laying hen/red comb. Sometimes I will just talk with them through the chickenwire and they will squat for me.
But it means they are maturing/mature.
They are sexually mature now. They do the squat dance when they are ready for the rooster to do the deed and fertilize their eggs.

And, they think you're the rooster.

Chickens are pretty gross sometimes.

... aww! I'm 2 posts too late!
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They know you're not a rooster--they are being submissive to the head of the flock. Many of mine still squat when I call their names, even with a rooster present, but I see it more in the old hens' coop, which is rooster-less (which they've earned, LOL).
hahaha...thanks everyone! my girls are all grown up....awwwww!
it makes total sense...the only 2 that squat are the laying hens!! awesome
and they do lay on their sides under the lamp....so that makes sense too
you learn something new everyday....now to just figure out the pecking thing...........
You are the rooster!!!! Wait until they flock to your feet trying to impress you and become your favorite. If you thought cats were bad try 8 chickens.

I always give my girls some rooster loving. A pat on the back and ruffling of neck feathers. They get up shake their feathers and are then off doing their chicken related business which includes tearing apart hay bales and pestering me for treats.

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