PREENING TO MAINTAIN FEATHER STRUCTURE
Q Why do chickens preen?
ANDY SAYS: With chickens, like many birds, preening is an essential part of hygiene and is often performed socially and invariably following a dust bath or when the bird has been caught out in the rain. The purpose of preening is to ensure that proper feather structure is maintained by straightening the feathers (using the beak) and then oiling the feathers (using the head, first rubbed against the preen gland at the base of the tail and then rubbed over the feathers being preened). It is also an additional way of removing parasites, dead skin and other feather dander.