Broody Dominique

Spookbust

In the Brooder
Apr 9, 2020
12
5
17
Pennsylvania
I moved my newly broody hen to a pen of her own the night of May 25th. The next morning she got off the nest drank and ate something but ever since she won’t even move off the nest! I put veggies right next to her and she eats them but will not take a drink or eat her layer feed and the reason I know is you can tell they’ve been untouched. Should I be concerned or just let her be?
 

Spookbust

In the Brooder
Apr 9, 2020
12
5
17
Pennsylvania
This is her...
 

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NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,394
12,331
596
USA
Try feeling her crop in the morning, and maybe later in the day as well. If it's more full at some times, and less at others, then you will know she is eating after all.

One single hen does not eat and drink very much food, and a broody eats/drinks less than a normal hen, so she might be getting enough without it being noticeable. (She's not spending energy running around, she's producing eggs, and she's not growing either: so she does not need as much food as many other chickens would.)

She won't survive three weeks with absolutely no food, but MOST hens will not actually starve themselve to death. (A few will, but most will not.)

You could offer her chick starter, since she's not laying eggs anyway. Sometimes a hen will eat it wet, even if she won't take it dry: just add water to a small portion and see if it works.

Sometimes a hen will eat and drink if you lift her off the nest and sit her by the food, either in the cage or even out on the lawn. She might run off for a quick dustbath, too.

If she eats once or twice a day, she should be fine. And she might be fine with less than that.
 

Ruthster55

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 23, 2013
1,063
1,954
391
Northern South America
If she is worth a hoot as a broody hen, then she is likely coming off nest to eat, drink and defecate only one time per day and she will avoid doing it while you watch.
Totally agree. My half-time broodies of dual-purpose breeds don’t care if I see them hanging out.

Broody Number 5 (a black game hen) has never let me see her go down for food or to poop during the past 27 days or so. She is on her second night of hatch. She has at least 3 chicks and is staying in the nest so persistently that I hate to move her and the babies to a growout cage with better food and water... I have given them chick starter and a teeny bit of water in a jar cap in the nest but I know the chicks can live for 2-3 days without anything. She is dedicated!!!!
 

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