Broody, Egg Bound or Something Else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by North Slope Farmer, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. North Slope Farmer

    North Slope Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2010
    One of my black sex link hens has been staying in her nest box for the last few days. She's not laying at all and I noticed that most of the feathers on her underside are missing. There seems to be some redness in the stomach area as well. I've tried the warm water immersion treatment with massage, have been force feeding her cooked oatmeal mixed with some yogurt, and have gotten both electrolytes and olive oil into her. I haven't been able to feel any egg lodged in her. Her crop felt very hard and large to me at one point, although once I fed her it quickly softened. (Does that make sense at all?) It looks as if her cloaca is pulsing, which makes me wonder if she is eggbound, and she often makes little sounds. She does not seem to be noticeably weakening thus far. Any thoughts about what's going on and how I can more effectively help her?
     
  2. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    The first time one of my hens went broody I thought something was wrong. Sounds like she is broody!! I hope I'm right. Good luck!
     
  3. North Slope Farmer

    North Slope Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Thanks, Kidcody. You seem to be right about my chicken being broody. Since I've never had a hen go broody before, this is a new experience - for me & the chicken! What threw me off was her sitting in the nest box for several days with nothing there. Today I finally noticed 2 eggs under her (at least one of them definitely not hers). Later on I experimented by placing a 3rd egg that had been laid elsewhere at her side. She promptly rolled it underneath and spread her wings over it. So there was my answer! And I am glad that she wasn't sick after all. But now I have a new question. Is it OK to let her begin hatching out a brood this late in the season? We're in upstate NY and the temperatures can start dropping quickly after the summer. If I let her go ahead, will I need to use supplemental heat for the chicks and until what age?
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  4. MonicasGarden

    MonicasGarden Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Hemet, California
    From what I've heard the mother will keep the babies warm so you don't need an artificial heat source. We just had our first chicks hatch last week and the mom puffs up and lets the babies sleep under her. Its adorable!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011

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