Brood Patch but Hen isn't Broody

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by songbuddha, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. songbuddha

    songbuddha In the Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2017
    St. Louis, MO
    Hi All,
    I have looked at a lot of the forums about bald bellies, but am still unsure.
    I have 6 hens--2 red sex comets, 1 australorp, 1 leghorn, 1 orpington, and 1 barred rock.
    I've been worried about a variety of pretty mild things that past few weeks because of the gnats. They aren't terrible, but not great.
    My leghorn, one of the red comets, and the orpington all have bald spots on their bellies. I have looked exhaustively for mites or lice (i've looked during the day, during the night, wiped down the roosts at night, etc) and found no evidence. Only today does one of the bald patches on one of the red comets look red/inflamed. otherwise the skin has looked fine, just bald. They look like pictures of the brood patches, but they are not broody (I've had experience with a broody chicken, they are not exhibiting any of the behaviors). I thought egg production went down, because there have been only 3 eggs per day instead of the normal 5 or 6 (they are 18 months old and great layers).
    Behaviorally they are acting normal. A bit of head shaking, but they always seem to do that. they are excited to eat treats when I come into the run (which I do at least once a day), and ran around the yard fine tonight when I let them out for a while.
    The run is straw which I turn every other week or so, and the coop is pine shavings. Both are deep litter method.
    Any thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Many hens will either pluck feathers off their chests or rub them off to have better contact with eggs in the nestboxes. They don't need to go broody to express the instinct. Most hens go into the box to lay and sit on existing eggs. They want to feel that contact.

    Hens can express all sorts of instincts like covering eggs with bedding, and attempts to even cover themselves sometimes while laying.

    We have bred the urge to totally go broody out of many hens but not necessarily the instincts that lead to going broody.

    Hens are beginning to slow in production this time of year. We are past the spring surge. Production will go up and down until fall. Some hens may even quit for a few months.
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  3. songbuddha

    songbuddha In the Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2017
    St. Louis, MO
    Thank you SO MUCH! That is relieving.
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.

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