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Broody hen turned sick

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My white leghorn turned broody again about 3 weeks ago ( this is her 3rd time). Last yr I gave her 5 fertile eggs & she hatched 2, so this time I put 6 under her 2 weeks ago & up till this morning she has been doing great. I gently lift her out twice a day to make sure she gets something to eat & drink, & she usually returns to the eggs within a few minutes. This morning I lifted her out & she looks so sickly yellow in the face, her comb is so pale, & she was a bit wobbly on her feet. I had to go out & was away most of the day, & when I got home she still hadn't returned to the eggs (stone cold). I managed to get some water into her & put her back on the eggs, but apart from that I'm not sure what to do. I guess the eggs won't hatch now after being left for 12 hrs.
Any advice here would be very welcome.
post #2 of 7

Check and make sure that the nest and hen are not infested with mites.  They can really debilitate setting hens.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 7
Can you check her skin for mites and lice, especially under the vent? It sounds like she is anemic or sick, so I would place the eggs in an incubator. She may need some vitamins with iron, or some elctrolytes, chopped egg, liver, or tuna to perk her up. But first, you may want to candle the eggs to see if the embryos are moving or look alive. You can warm the eggs in a heating pad for time being until you candle them. Broodies do get off their eggs for periods of time, so they could still be alive. Let us know what you find out. Liver disease can make the skin yellow, but sometimes pale skin looks yellow.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Many thanks to you eggcessive & sourland. I have taken into account all the advice you have given. The hen looks a little perkier today & she is eating & drinking. As for the eggs they were a good 36 hours without her. I'm not good at this candling, so I'm keeping them warm for just over another week & see what happens.
post #5 of 7
White eggs are much easier than colored eggs to candle. It took me a lot of practice to learn, but it is easy. I use a flashlight in the dark on the bottom of the egg with the egg upright with the flatter ean dup. You can use a toilet paper roll under the flashlight, but if you have a rubber ring around a flashlight, it helps. Go to the search box at the top of this page for many threads about candling eggs.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks, i'll give it a try.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Just an update on what happened. My chicken recovered after I gave her a little garlic & apple cider vinegar over a few days. As for the eggs, they were past rescuing. I later found out 3 out of the 6 would have hatched.
The little girl has gone broody again, so a week ago I bought 6 eggs, so I know what breeds might hatch. Fingers crossed she is doing a grand job.
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