Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

sunbathing, chicken style

Whenever I see the chickens sunbathing and dirtbathing, I can’t help but to smile. They look so relaxed, like they’re spending a day at the spa. It’s actually something they know to do for their health. They lay down, move their wing just so, and it exposes a gland of some sort that they know to expose to the sun for Vitamin D production.

And so they’ll lay there, sort of lounging, definitely relaxed. It is so nice to see them doing their chicken thing.

I’m not sure if this is Ella or Samantha or Shannon, but she’s definitely one of the five baby chicks who arrived when they were a day old, having been found in a grocery store parking lot. They’re all grown up now, and I still have a hard time telling them apart.

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8 responses to “sunbathing, chicken style

  1. Canaduck August 4, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Oh man, so adorable!!!

  2. Kelvin Kao August 4, 2008 at 3:39 am

    This reminds me of the seals that I saw sunbathing on the beach today!

  3. Deb August 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Canaduck – I agree!

    Kelvin – She does look like she’s lounging seal-like! Too funny, I wouldn’t have thought of that if you hadn’t said it!

    Mary – she really is. 🙂

  4. rich August 5, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I do love when they are laid out in the sun but i have also been fooled that they are dead and mangled with some of the odd positions they end up in. They are so cute and so relaxed sometimes

  5. Deb August 5, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    rich, that’s so true, seeing them flopped out and totally relaxed does sometimes make them look like they just keeled over dead! And I know that especially the broilers are at risk of sudden heart attacks. Luckily it is not something I’ve witnessed while at the various sanctuaries. That would be so heartbreaking.

  6. Gary August 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    The doves in my back yard do the same thing…another reminder that chickens are birds, not products.

    Also, I think about what Jonathan Balcombe says in “The Pleasurable Kingdom” – All species (maybe not insects but who knows?) do things for enjoyment (e.g., play, eat, sunbathe, put spices on food) that happen to be good for their health. The pleasurable factor helps ensure that we do the activities. His book reminds us that animals have rich lives.

    Lastly, what a stately, beautiful hen.

  7. Deb August 20, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Gary, very true, animals definitely have rich lives. Richer than any of us realize, I’m sure!

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