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Old 12-02-2019, 06:04 AM
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Chicken scratching 😩

Hi Guys, has anybody got any advice with chicken scratching, i have a 5 month old CAG who is constantly scratching the bottom of his cage as soon as he goes in we have an older grey too but never seen this behaviour before with him, any advice appreciated on how to deter this, he even does it on the rug when hes out of his cage sometimes but its mainly when hes in his cage thanks in advance
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:02 AM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

I work with Amazons and have never seen this activity with my Amazons.
With hope, one of our Grey experts or other species expert will see this and respond.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:32 AM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

Hi Paula,

My Levi does this only when he is chewing something inappropriate and we add things to block him from doing it.
For example, he was chewing on the door frame and my husband cut some wood and braced the area. Levi can chew on the added pieces of wood without eating the door frame. He puts his beak on the floor against the added wood & chicken scratches. It's his way of trying to remove the outer pieces to get to the door frame, the original wood he wants to chew. I also thinks he is trying to get as close as possible to his goal.
This is the only time I see this behavior. He's never done it in his cage.

I'm wondering if there's a treat or toy under the area where he is doing it?
He may be trying to reach something?
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:34 PM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

I believe the chicken scratching is normally nest building activities.
My male YNA does this when he is "playing" in his cardboard box.
Bella my CAG does this chicken scratching when she is in the top shelf of the cupboard and busy shredding an old phone book. I believe she is going through puberty and doing this as nest building.

Your bird at 5 months is to young to be seriously involved in nest building.
I don't know any other reason she would be doing this.

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Last edited by texsize; 12-02-2019 at 12:40 PM. Reason: added video
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:01 AM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

Quote: Originally Posted by Tami2 View Post
Hi Paula,

My Levi does this only when he is chewing something inappropriate and we add things to block him from doing it.
For example, he was chewing on the door frame and my husband cut some wood and braced the area. Levi can chew on the added pieces of wood without eating the door frame. He puts his beak on the floor against the added wood & chicken scratches. It's his way of trying to remove the outer pieces to get to the door frame, the original wood he wants to chew. I also thinks he is trying to get as close as possible to his goal.
This is the only time I see this behavior. He's never done it in his cage.

I'm wondering if there's a treat or toy under the area where he is doing it?
He may be trying to reach something?

What a great idea, alas it came too late for my door frames. im actually thinking of swapping them all out for brushed stainless steel frames.

As for chicken scratching, Enzo loves to do that but also NEVER in her cage, but only in 'nesty' type places, she has her own kitchen draw where she turns wood into matchsticks and she will scratch away with a piece of wood in her mouth. She also does this in my sock draw in the bedroom... i dont think i have a pair of socks without a hole in these days, but alas i am an old git now so will no doubt recieve replacements for xmas presents lol.


Scratching is allegedly a throw back from the days in the wild where the CAGs would scratch mud banks etc looking for food/minerals. Personally I think its a bit of a hormonal thing as well as a natural thing.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:56 AM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

My Patagonian has bouts of scratching, yeah... I always figured it was a throwback to the digging behaviors they use when burrowing into cliffs to make their burrows.

Tex, that is a real belly-laugher of a video! Funky chicken. Exactly!
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:34 AM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

Tex, your video, see that sub second shake of the head right at the start when Bella realizes she is 'rumbled'? What do you think that is saying?? I think that's a way they let you know that you are interrupting their 'space'. Enzo does that too, its either a leave me alone, no, or get out of my space thing..... any thoughts??
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:59 PM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

Just remember--even though they love "nesty" places, it is not good for them in the long run when they have such complicated hormones and no outlet for their desires...cough...
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:22 PM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

My 26 year old TAG did it her whole life, mostly inside of her cage, usually towards the evening in the back corner of her cage. She did it from a young age as well. If she could find a dark spot underneath furniture or in a box she did it as well. I did not encourage that, but she could be very quick and sneaky when she wanted to be! It wasn't every day or even every week. It's just something she did off and on. I attributed it to breeding behavior and instinct leftover from nesting in tree cavities in the wild. I never tried to stop it other than trying to keep her out of boxes and out from underneath furniture because, well, exactly as Noodles123 put it...it can lead to lots of problem behaviors and a lot of frustration.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:46 AM
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Re: Chicken scratching 😩

advice taken on, thanks. they do find these places though. My bathroom door was left open the other day, the towel radiator was behind the door, the door pretty much touching the radiator so an enclosed spot. Enzo went missing for 5 minutes and I found her scratching and biting on the warm towel making a bloody big hole. I'm now making sure the doors remain closed.


Ill restrict her 'scratching' area to her kitchen draw which is always wide open, brightly lit and has her wood that she loves to make matchsticks out of.


thanks again
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