I went out to the chicken run in the hopes of getting a picture of a resident chipmunk who, the cheeky thing, has now gone from sneaking into the run and eating the chicken feed that gets flung and scratched outside of the tin, to sitting directly inside and stuffing his cheeks to the maximum.
As soon as I came close to the fence, I got this:
Then I noticed a hen who was in the middle of sheer, total chicken heaven. For those of you who don't know, chickens dig. A LOT. They especially like to decimate any existing grass and create a hollow spot.
No, she is not dead.
She is having a dust bath. Chickens use their legs to scratch the dry dirt like crazy, and then roll around in it, spreading out their wings, rolling their heads, twisting and turning from side to side.
Chickens use dust baths to clean amongst their feathers, especially if they have mites or other common tiny pests.
They love it. Even our smallest little birds take dust baths. When they are finally all done, they stand up and fluff themselves, releasing a surprising amount of "dust" into the air around them. That's not what this girl is doing. She's still bathing, churning up the dirt into her feathers.
While I was out there, I took a picture of our two littlest hens (Raven and no-name).
They are still the lowest on the pecking order and probably always will be. Even though I've provided them with a "safe space" in the coop, they choose to do their own thing, squeezing themselves between the wall and a box.
I leave you with tandem preening.