broody hen has floppy comb and diarrhea, what can I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MaineChick, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. MaineChick

    MaineChick Out Of The Brooder

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    My 15 month old Speckled Sussex, "Mother", began sitting on eggs for the first time 8 or 9 days ago. Yesterday I noticed her comb was not upright, but was sagging or flopping to the side. It's a bit pale, too, but not too bad. I put vitamins in the water closest to her and made a note to up the frequency of high protein treats for her. Today when she left the nest she seemed a bit frantic, moving quickly and vocalizing a lot. She went to the porch where she is accustomed to get treats and stayed there a few minutes. I went in to get her a treat and when I returned she had blown out a stinky broody poop, but very liquid with chunks in it. Looked like vomit as much as poo. (sorry for the graphic description).

    This afternoon she is back to sitting on the nest quietly.

    Since she became broody she hasn't been very interested in food or water, even when I deliver it. My other broody takes shameless advantage of the food delivery service and chows down most of what I give her, so I don't know if Mother's lack of appetite is normal or not. And the other broody has a tiny comb that couldn't flop if it tried, so I don't know if that is normal or not, although Little Chicken's comb did become pale.

    What might the floppy comb signify, and what should I do to help her?
     
  2. SG_Chicken

    SG_Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    is she eating? if so what is she on. You can put her back on medicated food. Is her crop ok?
     
  3. MaineChick

    MaineChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Right now she has available Purina starter feed, non-medicated, and Purina Layena if she prefers. Plus I bring her stuff - yesterday a scrambled egg, today she had some cheese but turned down chopped chicken, which is usually a huge favorite. She seems to mostly want fruit - grapes, raspberries, and strawberries have all been grabbed and eaten right up.

    Her crop is nowhere near as full as usual, but it's not totally empty either.

    Suggestions? Just feed her more?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  4. SG_Chicken

    SG_Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Humm I want to keep this on the top of the list so you can have a better chance and getting better help
     
  5. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm, aside from the incredibly yucky (even for a broody) poop that you described, that all sounds very normal for a broody. Even with that said, its pretty common for chickens to have watery poop in the heat.

    Others may chime in, but both of my broody's combs were a little on the pale, floppy side when they were in the middle of their brood, that comes from eating and drinking very little.

    The whole super frantic, very vocal thing when leaving the nest is also very normal. They are nervous about leaving the nest unprotected, so will take on this "mess with me and I will attack" persona.

    And I was shocked, very, very shocked actually, at how very little they will eat during their brooding period, that's also very normal as they aren't expending a whole lot of energy in their zombie-trance state.

    Of course, keep an eye on her and I would keep hand feeding her some treats everyday to keep her energy up (mashed up hardboiled eggs are great sources of energy and protein for them), but I wouldn't worry quite so much, all of what you are describing sounds very normal.

    Keep us updated!! And we want to see pictures of little ones when they hatch! (Fingers crossed!!)
     
  6. Jamie

    Jamie Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2008
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    we have d'uccles and cochins that go broody on us often. Nothing too unusual about your chicken from our experiences... amateur thought here... the droopy low blood comb 'could' signify the blood rushing to her brood, as it's supposed to.

    But our broodies sit right out straight quite often. We'll pick them up and toss them out of the coop every other day though. It gets them to peck around and eat/drink a little before they go back to the nest. When we did actually lay some, the bantam in charge got up enough that we didn't have to worry, and she had help from a couple others who went broody towards the end, and it turned into a team effort. They'll throw a fuss when you toss them out, but it's good for them to get around if they're brooding too much.

    But we've read often that a broody will sometimes sit and waste away if it's not on an actual egg that will eventually break that cycle and hatch. We've had one go broody under a porch, in a puddle, in the winter, and wow if i never thought you could unfreeze a chicken from ice and watch it come around in an hour or two, all of its toes were fine! And as a last resort google or search this site about broody cages. Cages with wire bottoms that stop its bottom from warming up, and supposedly pulling it out of it's broody faster.
     
  7. MaineChick

    MaineChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reassurance Nealeys and Jamie, it's possible that I was just spoiled by my first broody hen, Little Chicken. Who was quietly determined to sit on eggs, but quite casual about the whole thing. Let me lift her off the eggs to look anytime I wanted, only a little noise when I bothered her, nothing too different except she was sitting on the eggs for 23 3/4 hours a day. She'd take a 15 minute walkabout each day that included a dustbath, lunch and a drink, a giant poop, and then back to the eggs. But all so casually, compared to this little nut. She's also turning out to be an awesome mama bird to her gang of 5, I hope Mother does as well.

    This one has also forgotten her eggs for nearly an hour, but I think one of the Orpingtons was laying an egg in there so they may be fine. Little Chicken will sometimes offer to sit on them,complete with her chicks, so hopefully Mother will get used to getting off the nest with less panic. I'll keep an eye on her and keep bringing nutritional treats to the nest box.

    And I'll take pics if she makes it through! I only let her have 3 eggs as I really don't want any more chickens, I just figure if nature wants them to go broody who am I to argue?
     
  8. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just found this thread, and I am curious: did this little lady successfully hatch a clutch of babies?


    Is she well now?


    I'm just wondering because I had a broody that did the same thing during Christmas season, 2009.


    I was worried sick about her, since the diarrhea lasted during the entire 3 week brooding period. We'd have to move her off the nest, onto newspaper in the bathroom, so she could let her "flood" out safely, without contaminating her eggs.


    But in the end, she delivered two very healthy chicks two days after Christmas: one that was primarily black and the other that was golden colored.


    We were worried about her passing disease to them, so we took the babies away from her as soon as she realized she had completed her brooding mission.


    Then we put her in a special area, segregated from the other hens by a thin fence, until we were able to determine that she was healthy. Apparantly, she was just stressed out from being removed from the other chickens and brought into a house with people. Her poops solidified within 96 hours of being returned outside.


    Meantime, we raised her little black and gold chicks. The gold one we named Drew (after New Orleans Saint and Super Bowl 44 MVP Drew Brees) and the black one we named Pierre (after New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas, who I personally think is alot better than Reggie Bush).


    That meant that the little black and gold Saint chicks got to watch their favorite NFL team fight their way to the Lombardi trophy.


    The poor little broody -- who sacrificed three weeks of her life to hatching the little chicks -- wasn't so fortunate.


    She had to remain in the henhouse during the game, where there is no TV. So she missed the best Super Bowl game ever.


    But at least she was over her diarrhea by that point, and was healthy as ever.
     
  9. Axton

    Axton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2014
    your chicken is a cannibal.
     

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