Broody hen, but no eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by avanderhule, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. avanderhule

    avanderhule Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 5, 2011
    I have a one year old Martha the Maran. Over the past couple months I have had so many bizarre issues with several of my hens, which have included death from coccidiosis (we think), paralyzed wings (don't know why), and sore foot (which got better yesterday), and now Martha will not get out of one of the nesting pots. I pulled her out yesterday at bedtime since she was not getting out herself, and she was unhappy. There was a pile of her feathers there, which was weird, and she had already laid. I checked her for mites, and sure enough, she was loaded near her vent. So I powdered her really well.

    I remove all eggs from boxes each night, and we have no rooster. Would she be broody in an empty nest? I didn't think if she was getting sick, she would choose the nesting pot? She went back there as soon as she got up this morning, and she sat there for at least 4 hours yesterday. She looks a little shell shocked, but because she is in there so much, she really hasn't eaten much.

    So, again, my question is, is this normal behavior of a broody hen or do I have other issues going on?

    Thanks a ton!!!
  2. champer

    champer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    San Martin, CA
    My game hens are perfectly happy to sit on an empty nest for weeks at a time. I eventually bought some day old chicks for them to raise and that worked out well. If you want more chickens that's one option, another is to find someone to sell you some fertile eggs to put under her. Otherwise, you can just keep chasing her out or use some other method to break her broodiness.
  3. TexasLisa

    TexasLisa Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 27, 2012
    Rosenberg, TX
    I am dealing with an Australorp right now who is broody. Unfortunately we don't have a roo. [​IMG] I have been chasing her out of the pen every afternoon and I lock the door so she cant go back in. Seems to be working. She was out in the yard most of the morning. Bad thing is I am leaving for a week tomorrow and I have a feeling she will go back to her antics while I am gone. Oh well, I will just have to bat my eyes at my dear husband and hope he gives in on me getting fertile eggs!
  4. avanderhule

    avanderhule Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 5, 2011
    :) Well, I will just hope and pray that broodiness is in fact all it is!

    Now, all of you wise people check out my new post. I am in tears trying to do the best I can and feeling completely defeated!!!! Now that egg production is up, so are my problems!!! I feel so helpless!!! These precious little hens are so fragile...though I have some meaty ol' birds. They are sensitive creatures!!!
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Chances are that what you saw were lice, not mites. Poultry lice are brownish white, and congregate around the vent area. I've never experienced mites, but my understanding is they are red little creepy crawlies. If it's lice, you will want to dust them again in 10 days to 2 weeks when the eggs hatch. They are a pain in the rear to get rid of. Dust your nesting boxes as well.

    If she is broody, you will know when she quits laying and stays in the nest instead of roosting at night. She may or may not be plucking feathers out of her chest.

    As for paralyzed wings, this can be a sign of Mareks disease.

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