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Questions for the experts

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all.  We have a small flock of 6 hens.  One of our chanteclers wont leave the nesting box.  We thought she was broody but now she seems very weak.  Her beak is very pale and she has lost a lot of weight.  She wont eat as well.  She is 11 months old.  Does anyone have any ideas what may be going on and how to treat her.  Thanks so much.

post #2 of 4
Do you have a photo?

Is her comb pale?

Try and get her to eat and drink.

Does her vent look normal?
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
Four lovely hens : An Exbattery Hen, a Lavender Araucana, a Wheaten Marans and a Gold Laced Frizzle Polish
Two dogs and four cats.
If you want to read my chicken adventure, here it is :
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947562/my-story-our-experience-join-me-on-my-adventure.
Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello again.  Chantys don't have much of a comb.  But her face is completely pale and her sisters are bright red.  Her vent looks fine.  I can't even get her to eat bread out of my hand.  I will try to get a photo this afternoon.  Thanks!

post #4 of 4

A pale comb can indicate infertility, temporary or permanent. During broodiness, a pale comb is normal.

 

For all you've indicated, your hen is broody, not sick. But there's a way to tell one from the other.

 

Remove the hen from the nest. Place her in a pen where she is confined so she has to remain there and not return to the nest. Observe her behavior. Is she pacing back and forth obsessively, and emitting a low "popping" cluck? Does she produce a huge mounded poop soon after being removed from the nest? Is she missing feathers along her keel bone? Yes answers to all these questions indicate broodiness.

 

On the other hand, if she settles into a corner with her tail held flat and low, while remaining mute may indicate she's sick. If she can only produce a poop that is watery, white, or with green bits floating in it indicates illness. If her crop is flat and empty may indicate illness, especially after she's been given the opportunity to eat.

 

The big, sure fire test of whether a hen is sick or broody is to remove her from the nest, turn her loose, and if she heads right back to the nest without hesitation, she's broody. If she's sick, she won't have the energy to do more than just mope on the sidelines with her tail down.

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