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Chickens get their "butt scratch" on!

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I have recently discovered a new subculture of permies - those who like to scratch their hens' butts (at the insistence of the hens, of course!).

Inspired by another permie's photo of her engaged in "hen butt scratching" I thought I'd post my own pic here. Please feel free to add your own pictures/videos of hens enjoying a nice butt scratch.

My hen "Cheekie" enjoying a butt scratch while perched on the lip of the compost bin. (Phoenix, AZ)

 
Burra Maluca
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Meet Fluffybutt!

She's half silkie, so she's a good broody. She doesn't *really* like having her butt scratched, but when she's properly broody she won't actually bite you when you scratch it.

 
Meryt Helmer
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this makes me really want some chickens. I would totally want to scratch their butts.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Chicken butt scratching is deeply satisfying! Both for you and the hen

Often I'll go outside to feed some veggie waste to the hens and next thing you know they're in the "scratch my butt" position (squatting down, wings slightly spread, tail down).

I currently only have three hens but they will jockey to be the two "chosen ones" who get scratched simultaneously. The third hen often paces around the two who are blissfully enjoying their scratch and pecks at them and chirrs in irritation. Finally one will move off and the neglected hen will take over that position. I am not allowed to leave until all hens are satisfied and have done the "puff and shake" that marks the successful end of a good butt scratching session.
 
Cj Sloane
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:...next thing you know they're in the "scratch my butt" position (squatting down, wings slightly spread, tail down).


My new breed of chickens (Dark Cornish) do this when I'm stomping around trying to feed them. It's really annoying because my other breeds do the reasonable thing which is to get the hell out of my way! Squatting down like that out of fear seems like a good way to become a predator's dinner.

Anyway, my husband has been adamant - no chicken huggers in this family! Truly, he is the only one around here I've seen hugging a chicken though.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Cj Verde wrote:Squatting down like that out of fear seems like a good way to become a predator's dinner.

Anyway, my husband has been adamant - no chicken huggers in this family! Truly, he is the only one around here I've seen hugging a chicken though.


Are you sure it's fear or do they see you as the "rooster" and are waiting for a butt scratch??

LOL - ah yes - building a butt-scratching/hugging relationship with a bird that you will eventually have to kill doesn't seem like a good idea. Fortunately I am free to hug and scratch my birds to my heart's content as I simply want my girls for their ova and mad composting skills.
 
Cj Sloane
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:LOL - ah yes - building a butt-scratching/hugging relationship with a bird that you will eventually have to kill doesn't seem like a good idea. Fortunately I am free to hug and scratch my birds to my heart's content as I simply want my girls for their ova and mad composting skills.

I suppose that's why he can hug 'em and not me (I'm the slaughterer).
 
Thomas A. Cahan
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.. this is my first posting on the Permies site! - I'd like to thank you all for doing such a Great job in banding together, and compiling and disseminating the info needed to reverse, or at least mitigate, the wholesale destruction of the natural system that keeps us all alive.. as to the hens- they need a rooster!! - to the point that they are literally begging you give them the natural gratification that makes their little chicken lives whole.. the 'feather fluffing' is their response to a successful mating! .. I have seen hens so starved for 'attention' that they will eventually tread each other- and one will even take up the role, and begin to crow.. so Please- give those poor girls what Nature intended tbem to have! - I guarantee they will thank you!! - and maybe lay a few more eggs in the bargain
 
Burra Maluca
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Welcome to permies, Thomas, and thankyou for your kind words.

I can't speak for the others but as for Fluffybutt, she knows all about roosters. She's happily sitting on a load of eggs right now. We test her for full broodiness by touching her and seeing if she bites or not. When she doesn't bite, we give whichever eggs we want hatching this time around. This time it's a load of olive-coloured eggs, some by a Light Sussex rooseter to get some rainbow-egger dual purpose chickens out, and some are by a slikie rooster to get some rainbow-egger broody hens out, and a few for the freezer. Fluffy's dad is the silkie, hence her fluffy butt and the desire to brood everything in sight.
 
Thomas A. Cahan
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.. Thank you for the warm welcome! - I would give my right arm for broody hens.. it makes no sense to selectively breed the reproductive traits out of any species and call that 'progress'.. talk about unsustainable! - I am reconsidering having chickens at all..I don't want to rely on an incubator, with a spinning meter attatched.. or repurchase chicks every other year.. I'd like to try hatching under Muscovies- which haven't been 'improved' to the point where they will no longer reproduce.. but a broody chicken breed would be the ticket for sustainability! - even if they only laid and hatched 'in season'.. guess I've rambled off-topic! - sorry 'bout that!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Hi Thomas:

While I would love to have a rooster, it is forbidden in the city unless you have a very large property - which very few of us in downtown Phoenix do. And thus I scratch the hens butts! As I have so few hens, I can easily accomplish this. And yes, I've had a hen that "crows" - unfortunately I had to give her to a friend with a farm.
 
Thomas A. Cahan
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.. that's a shame! - yet people can purchase an alarm clock that crows.. so You get to fill the bill.. for an 'enhanced experience', try kneading the hens' entire back, and with the other hand, pull the feathers on the back of her neck..
 
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