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Q: Why does my hen hop off of the nest, then toss hay, grass, and leaves over her shoulder and back?

A:

We LOVE it when they do that... it's so darn cute! This is a nesting behavior. Hens that are broody will often do this when settling into the nest, and occasionally hens who are not broody will do it before or after laying. In nature, having little bits of the surrounding grass, leaves, and other detritus covering her would help to keep her camouflaged from predators by breaking up her silhouette.

Why does my hen hop off of the nest, then toss hay, grass, and leaves over her shoulder and back?