PREENING TO MAIN­TAIN FEATHER STRUC­TURE

Q Why do chick­ens preen?

Country Smallholding - - Poultry Pen -

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.

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