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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:15 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:39 pm
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Location: Newcastle
This morning I saw my 6 month old Brown Leghorn in the nest box area she was slowly and delicately picking up a piece of straw twisting around and placing the straw on her back then another piece on her back - she had about five or six pieces on her back as she wandered around picking up pieces of straw and placing them on her back. It was almost like a dance. I was fascinated.
I looked over to the nest box and saw her little tiny first egg still warm when I picked it up. She was interrupted when an Aracauna blustered in - she gets very bossy when she is going to lay an egg. The BL is the youngest and bottom of the peaking order so she ran out.
I was charmed by seeing her own, 'first egg celebration'?
I was wondering if anyone else has seen anything similar after a chook laying their first egg, which must be a very big thing for them.

Cheers Jas


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:06 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Pomona, Sunshine Coast, Qld
It's just her genes driving her.
In the days before humans fiddled so much with the genetics of chooks, they used to live & lay in wild places.
They found nest places deep in under bushes or tall tussocks of grass.
To avoid predators, they had to be camouflaged. They used to dress themselves in grass or leaves to look like their surroundings before they went to nest & as they left their nest.
They also placed grass or leaves over the clutch of eggs until they were ready to go broody & sit.
They also took a roundabout route to get to & from the nest.
That's why it can be hard to find the nest of a hen that is laying 'out' or 'away'.
Often if you try to follow her she will lead you on a merry chase then seemingly vanish.
Your hen is just doing the vestiges of the camouflaging behaviours & attempting to cover her tracks or cover the clutch.
She may stop doing it eventually once she becomes properly comfortable with laying or she may do it more during the times she lays daily.

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going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:56 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
It is fascinating to watch the individual personalities emerging and reassuring to think that there might still be some evolutionary traits still alive in a breed as highly developed as a Leghorn.
I wonder if she will continue to do her egg 'dance'? It has to be less obtrusive than some "I laid an egg songs"


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:03 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:39 pm
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Location: Newcastle
Thanks for the replies to my post.
Connecting her behaviour to their origins in forest was a great insight and made sense. It felt good to see a little bit of the natural wild chook was in there somewhere.
It will be interesting to see if she does it again. Though I will be lucky to catch her straight after she lays. The first time was serendipitous.


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