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This chicken will not leave the nesting box! Please help!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 




I have six hens and they all seem fit and heathy apart from one! For about a week She has just been sitting in the box all day and night and occasionally coming out for food. We've had bad weather recently (strong winds and heavy rain) but the temperature has been quite mild. Shes puffing herself out and won't move from the box even when pushed. She just sits there sad.png please help, any advise would be really appreciated! (Here are some photos, 2 of her in the box and 1 last summer when she was healthy)
post #2 of 5

Sounds like she has gone broody.

 

Here's an article that describes it:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/complete-guide-dealing-with-all-things-broody

 

There are differing opinions on how to deal with a broody hen, personally I just let it run it's natural course and make sure she does leave the nest to eat and drink.


Edited by sunflour - 12/6/15 at 5:01am

Attention:  loads of contests to enter, pick your favorites and join the fun: post #1

 

 

Raising Hens in Georgia!  Limited experience, but a lot of opinions.  

Reintegrating a Recovered Hen to a Small Flock:

Don't be Chicken, Even a Cat Can Bake a Gingerbread House

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Attention:  loads of contests to enter, pick your favorites and join the fun: post #1

 

 

Raising Hens in Georgia!  Limited experience, but a lot of opinions.  

Reintegrating a Recovered Hen to a Small Flock:

Don't be Chicken, Even a Cat Can Bake a Gingerbread House

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advise! I have had a look at the link and it states the exact same behaviours that she is displaying. Do they need a cockerel to become broody?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advise! I have had a look at the link and it states the exact same behaviours that she is displaying. Do they need a cockerel to become broody?
post #5 of 5

No, SHE IS HEALTHY.  Hens becoming broody and setting is  natural for most breeds of poultry.   Same for "laying eggs",  no rooster is necessary,   hens lay (and go through hormone changes to set and brood) and it has nothing to do with having a rooster in the flock!    Roosters are necessary for fertilization of eggs that will hatch, when incubated--under hen or in incubator.   Hens lay--roosters crow!

 

Your hen will not likely stop her  "set" easily  (some do, after about 3 weeks, the natural time for hatching chicks, but hens cannot count-it is Mother Nature who controls).   If your other hens are laying, she may move nest to set on eggs of your other birds.   This can continue for too long, and she will loses weight and health.

 

  To "break" a setting hen, they usually need to be moved to a confinement pen or cage, with NO bedding, bare floor, and just feed and water.   Poop of a setting hen is usually large and VERY stinky, as it is passed about once a day, so you can know that she is getting off the nest to eat and drink.  Unlike what is often claimed, is it NOT lowering temperature.   Normal temperature of chickens is 104 degrees.  Setting temperature is 99.5 degrees.  So hanging up the cage to "lower" temperature, is a fallacy.   When the setting hen makes fewer clucky sounds, and no longer fluffs up, or squeals, you can try to put her back with others, but if she goes back on the nest,  she must be isolated again.  Often takes a few days to a week.   She can resume laying in about 3 weeks.   Be sure your hens have Oyster shell and grit, for good egg shells and not depleting the calcium of their own systems to weaken them and shorten their laying lives!  What a pretty hen!   Good luck.      


Edited by JeanR - 12/6/15 at 12:08pm
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