2 broody hens, sitting but not eating. Should I be worried?

Tyaloria

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 12, 2014
159
8
88
Worcester UK
Hello!
I have 2 hens - a gold laced Wyandotte (jemima) and a buff Sussex (nugget)

They were both getting exceeding broody and would not leave the nest no matter how hard I tried to break the habit.
In the end I felt so cruel about watching them being miserable about being broken I decided to get some fertilised eggs for them to sit on. (the children chose white silkie eggs)
So, I popped the eggs (3 each) under the hens. they look happy and content BUT I cannot get them to eat or drink.
I've offered water & food, even mealworms and greens but they wont have any of it.
This is day 4 for them and I'm a little worried about them not eating & drinking.

Is this normal? I don't want them to waste away :(

thanks,

Tyaloria,.
 

feathersunshine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
43
4
26
the country wilderness
My Coop
My Coop
this is perfectly normal behavior in a broody hen, although it is very dangerous. yes, the hen can die from not eating and drinking. i have silkies and they are VERY broody. you need to make sure they eat and drink and poop. broody hens would rather die than leave the nest and the eggs. provide food and water in the nesting box, but also take some time to life them up out of the nest.

getting them to eat and drink is wuite simple if you do it the right way.

1. get the broody hens out of the coop and into the run

2. lock the door to the coop so they cant get back to the nest

3. provide food and water outside for them. (they will eat and drink)

4. when you are comfortable that they are well-nourished, let them back into the coop to lay on their eggs

do this once or twice every day.


good luck!
 

Tyaloria

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 12, 2014
159
8
88
Worcester UK
Hi! thanks for your reply :)

They are quite happy to be stroked and have their eggs checked (they are very tame as the children are always playing with them)
I have left some water and food in the nest but I will do what you said and move them into the run and lock the nest box and hopefully they will do something chicken like and eat instead of sitting for a while!

Thanks again!
 

Tyaloria

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 12, 2014
159
8
88
Worcester UK
Just one more quick question feathersunshine (you seem very knowledgable) when the babies hopefully hatch, shall I leave them with their moms or do I need to broody box them?
 

feathersunshine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
43
4
26
the country wilderness
My Coop
My Coop
with the warm weather coming up (depending on where you live), i think the easiest and most natural way to raise the chicks is for the mother hen to take care of them. just make sure you have the chicken starter feed for them which has all the nutrients they need to grow, and on cooler nights have a heat lamp available.

enjoy the warm weather and i'd love to see some pictures of your chicks once they hatch!
 

Tyaloria

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 12, 2014
159
8
88
Worcester UK
Thank you!!

It worked! I just got the girls off the nests and they had a bit to eat and drink and I got to do a mini clean up in the coop :)

Great advice and yes lots of pics I hope!
 

cooleo

Songster
Jul 20, 2016
160
76
101
Hello!
I have 2 hens - a gold laced Wyandotte (jemima) and a buff Sussex (nugget)

They were both getting exceeding broody and would not leave the nest no matter how hard I tried to break the habit.
In the end I felt so cruel about watching them being miserable about being broken I decided to get some fertilised eggs for them to sit on. (the children chose white silkie eggs)
So, I popped the eggs (3 each) under the hens. they look happy and content BUT I cannot get them to eat or drink.
I've offered water & food, even mealworms and greens but they wont have any of it.
This is day 4 for them and I'm a little worried about them not eating & drinking.

Is this normal? I don't want them to waste away :(

thanks,

Tyaloria,.
Please do t lock
 

cooleo

Songster
Jul 20, 2016
160
76
101
Please do t lock
Don't lock them out I had to just leave a bowl of food and water right next to them only touching you can also throw some food right under there face they don't like food w eggs so they'll naturally eat it if they do keep throwing it them they'll want to drink I've had to lift a bowl of food and water up to my hens to get them to eat and drink I would not take them off unless it's there second hatch in a row and there doing that
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,048
4,099
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
... I have 2 hens... they are both broody... I felt... cruel [so] I get some fertilised eggs for them to sit on..... they look... content BUT I cannot get them to eat or drink... they won't have any of it.... This is day 4... and I'm... worried about them not eating & drinking... Is this normal? I don't want them to waste away...
One of the biggest failures I notice in new-bees hatching eggs is that they confuse their human pregistice and preferences with the age old druthers of their chickens.

Ideally a hen should keep her bottom glued to her nest for 3 or 4 days at a time before she comes off her nest to defecate, (more on this later) drink, eat, and dust baith. Any hen who comes off the nest more often than this IN MY OPINION is a poor sitting hen. You only need to make sure that there is food and water available to her when she decides to leave the nest. Now back to the sitting hens' bathroom habits. When a sitting hen leaves the nest she will usually first pass a chicken poop about the size of a small tangerine and it is easy to know that she left the nest because this poop will have a special or offensive odor. Now this advice doesn't apply to those of you who routinely hatch 80 or 90% of your chicks by sitting on and hatching the eggs yourself. Everyone else take heed.
 
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