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Broody failed- on the nest for too long, looks ill- HELP

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. My hen went broody and, thinking she'd give up soon (since she didn't seem too serious) we took the eggs from her for a week. So finally she got fed up and refused to let us take them.
    She sat on them. For 3 weeks. Nothing happened.
    Thinking maybe some new eggs were laid in her nest later (we marked the eggs on day 7) we decided to give her an extra week. It was up yesterday. Now she's been on the nest for 5 weeks, and she looks very pale and tired. She is determined to hatch those eggs, and it is obviously not gonna happen.
    I have 3 other broodies in the coop with her, and I worry that if I take her eggs she'll just try to steal theirs. I worry that if I giver her more eggs, she'll die before they hatch. How long her body can take this, I don't know. I only have 2 hens laying right now, so eggs are scarce and I worry that she would just fail again.
    What do I do?
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    Put her in a cage by herself with food and water, but no nesting material. This should make her give up the idea.
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    I'd also give her some poly visol (infant vitamins, no iron) and cook her up some scrambled eggs. I give all my broody girls scrambled eggs a few times a week to help keep them in shape.
  4. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    We had one just the same, we forgot to record the date she started, all her eggs were infertile. She must've sat for five weeks and then we found her on the floor under the nestbox having convulsions. She'd almost starved to death. Three days of force feeding with mushed boiled/scrambled eggs and rice & tuna cat food and she was right as rain again. She's had one successful clutch since then, but we fed her boiled eggs regularly to make sure she was eating enough, she's sitting on ten eggs just now, due on the 28th, and again we are giving her food directly at the nest rather than relying on her to come out and find enough by herself.

    Put her in a box/cat carrier/whatever (without the eggs) and feed her up. If she's not eating, she'll die very quickly. If she doesn't choose to eat then you need to force it in until she is well enough to eat by herself. You can force feed water through soggy bread or with a dropper - soggy bread is safer.

    Hope it goes OK.
  5. NattyK

    NattyK In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2008
    Tamra, I have broodies all the time. Sometimes they are broody up to a month because I don't let them hatch any eggs. What kind of hen is she? If she is cochin/silkie/or english game banty she may take to live chicks being placed uner her. I have done this several times with good results. Although, recently, I did have someone say their hen rejected the chicks, but hers was an EE. I would research this, or I can tell you how I did it. Your broody should eat and drink. I often will place, especially in summer, a small dish of water near her and feed her some lay mash, or other treats like scrambled eggs, yougurt or canned cat food. Even though they are broody, they aren't suicidal. I recently had a broody banty hen that I would get up because she was outside the run, and put near the outside waterer to get her up and moving. She would quickly eat and drink, boss around the dog and other chickens:cd, unload a big stinky broody poop:sick, and head right back to her nest. She was like this for over a month. It is ok to get them moving if they get too skinny/poor. Also, I wouldn't leave the old eggs in the nest, if they aren't fertile, once they get rotten they can explode, this is not good, I know from experience:tongue. Hope this helps.
  6. Thanks all!
    I suppose I DID forget to mention she is a Columbian Wyandotte-and I would get her a few chicks if there were any to be found but alas, after June the stores stop carrying them. But I happen to have a bunch of nice empty rabbit hutches which I have been using as quarantine areas for the injured. I will move her into one tomorrow morning and see that she eats.
    I know that she has been taking daily breaks so I wasn't worried till now, but I think she should be ok.
    Again, thanks!
  7. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    If you want to try getting her chicks you can check on CL and/or post a wanted add on there. There's almost always chicks available up here and since you're in the PNW too I suspect it's the same in your area--our weather stays mild enough to make hatching/raising chicks all summer easier then in other parts of the country.
  8. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    The first thing you need to do is get her strength back up. After that, usually a wire bottomed enclosure with nothing even remotely resembling nesting material should "cure" her of broodiness. Once she lays an egg in there, let her out. I've also filled a cooler up with ice water and dunked a stubborn broody. It's a bit shocking to the system so do in on a warm day where she can dry off and warm up in the sun. And since your broody is very weak, I wouldn't use the ice bath method until she's stronger. The ice bath is a last resort but hasn't failed me.

  9. Well, I don't think she is too weak... I think I over reacted. We put her out in the rabbit cage this morning and she growled and fussed the whole way. Plus, as i said, I know she took daily breaks.
    We've just had such a bad month for our chickens that I am exceptionally paranoid. We've lost 4 in the last 6 weeks which includes one broody, my favorite roo, the ONLY successfully broody-hatched chick we've had, and my failure's twin (all to different things). So combine that with 2 injured hens, 9 unhatched eggs, and a whole lot of worry and I think you can begin to see where I am coming from.
    I really appreciate the answers. I would have guessed that would work, but I wouldn't have been sure. Knowing others have done this, I feel much better. Hopefully Archie will be back to normal soon. I don't really mind if she tries again later, so long as she succeeds next time.

    Everyone cross your fingers for my other broodies: My GLW is on ONE egg (2 broke/cracked) due to hatch today, my Black giant has 10 eggs (4 of which she inherited from her twin sister who died) due next week, and my 2nd GLW -the nest stealer- was given 3 eggs (which is all I could get, being down to 2 layers who are inconsistant since the brooding began!) on monday. Even if they each only get one...even if they are ALL boys, I want something to hatch. Especially my giant's eggs. She will be so lost without her sis around if she doesn't get some peeps to keep her busy.

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