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Hen will not leave nest box, eats very little

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello...I am a newbie and have very little experience with my four Rhode Island Red hens. All has been going well for about eight weeks. Two days ago I noticed almost no egg production and then yesterday a very tiny egg in the nest when I removed the one hen from the nest. When I removed her, she ate and drank a little and then headed right back for the nest. Removed her again and blocked access to the nest. She paced frantically back and forth and eventually dugout a hole and settled in. I let the other three hens in the coop and kept the sick hen outside, away from the nesting box. When I came out this morning, she was still in the hole with her eyes half closed and making a low murming clucking sound. I picked her up and removed her from the pen entirely and put her down in a grassy field near the pen. She did start to scratch and pick at the greens, but seemed very nervous and intent on finding her way back to the pen, pacing back and forth. Eventually she climbed/and flew up the outside of the 5' fence, perched on top for a while and flew back down into the pen! There was another hen in the nesting box and she pushed it right out and plunked herself down again! She is devoting far to much time to sitting and I don't think she is getting enough to eat. I have inspected her vent and everything seems to be clean and smooth. Am I being overly concerned or is there something more I should be doing?
Jim P.

post #2 of 6

She sounds broody.  Can you put some food and water close enough for her to reach without getting off the nest?  Also have you inspected her abdomen to be sure it is soft and not lumpy?  She sounds more broody than sick but you might check to be sure she is not an internal layer (since your egg production is way down).

There are always two sides to a story and the truth runs somewhere down the middle.
Nobody loses anything by being polite but there are a lot of people who are afraid to take the risk.
In God's economy, the budget always balances.
Reply
There are always two sides to a story and the truth runs somewhere down the middle.
Nobody loses anything by being polite but there are a lot of people who are afraid to take the risk.
In God's economy, the budget always balances.
Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well, she is removed from the nest now and has dug a new hole to lie down in. I have put food (layer pellets) and water next to her but she doesn't seem enticed. How long does broodyness last?

post #4 of 6

That depends.  Do you want her to brood chicks or get over it? This site might help answer some of your questions: http://feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKBroody.html

There are always two sides to a story and the truth runs somewhere down the middle.
Nobody loses anything by being polite but there are a lot of people who are afraid to take the risk.
In God's economy, the budget always balances.
Reply
There are always two sides to a story and the truth runs somewhere down the middle.
Nobody loses anything by being polite but there are a lot of people who are afraid to take the risk.
In God's economy, the budget always balances.
Reply
post #5 of 6

playnationnj, the small egg is a good sign that she is at the end of her cycle, and is prolly broody. If this is the first time being broody and never ever raised a family of peeps, she won't stay broody as long as a experienced mom determined to get er done. They can stay broody for months...

  bigzio

Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Fall with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Fall with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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post #6 of 6

You got a broody on your hands... wink

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