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Author Topic: Funny Hen behaviour?  (Read 2423 times)


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Funny Hen behaviour?
« on: September 23, 2015, 06:00:54 pm »
I have a hen from this years hatch who has recently started laying. I have caught her a few times roaming round the garden picking up pieces of straw and throwing them behind her. None of my other hens has ever done this that i've seen, has anyone else seen hens do this? Shes not picking them up and throwing them down, you can see she is clearly throwing them behind her. She just walks round going from one piece of straw to the next, she's not collecting them.

There's nothing wrong with the behaviour, it just looks really funny and I wondered if anyone else's hens displayed this kind of thing?  :chook: :chook:


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Funny Hen behaviour?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 10:55:33 am »
Yes, some of ours do that just prior to going broody Clarebelle. That is how they create the nest effect, by letting hay or straw fall off their backs and drop around them.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Funny Hen behaviour?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2015, 04:12:57 pm »
Yep Chris is right. They tend to do it in the nest box but if they do it out and about like your girl they may not have yet found a suitable place to brood. You may also find her wandering around making a high pitched pwork and eyeing  up places to set her clutch.

The books tend to say that its a bit late in the year to be broody but chickens dont read books.......we they dont read mine anyhow. :innocent:


  • Joined May 2009
  • Stirlingshire
Re: Funny Hen behaviour?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2015, 07:02:45 pm »
I have a girl who has gone broody twice this year. When I shut her out of the henhouse she roams around the run picking up dead vegetation and throwing it over her shoulder. She is currently in a dog crate on concrete.


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Funny Hen behaviour?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 06:56:24 am »
 Thanks everyone, that is interesting. I thought it was perhaps related to broody behaviour but I've never seen any of my hens do it and i have had a lot of broody hens. Also this hen has only just started laying a month or so ago so I didn't expect broodiness from her. It just looked really odd her wandering round trowing stuff over her shoulder! Glad its not just my hen ;)


  • Joined Jun 2015
  • Dorset
Re: Funny Hen behaviour?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2015, 10:12:57 am »
My geese do exactly the same when they are in the laying season and decide to lay outside - they continue picking up anything within reach, sticks, grass, leaves etc., and throw them over their backs, even when they have made a nest and are sitting on it.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Funny Hen behaviour?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2015, 09:49:42 am »
Had some funny cockerel behaviour this year. The fluffy feathers around the vent of soft-feathered fowl can impede mating but my senior cockerel overcame it by plucking out all those feathers from his three wives.  Certainly worked, as fertility was very high, but the feathers haven't grown back so they have a pretty chilly Winter coming up.  Haven't had a cockerel do this before - an intelligent cockerel ..... now that's a scary thought.


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