Broody Hen hatched eggs .... and then fainted (?????)


In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 16, 2011
We're fairly new to having chickens - have had our flock since last July and so far everything has gone well and all our birds are healthy and happy ... so we decided to let one of the birds brood some eggs and see if it'd work.
We have a Silkie (normal size) who has brooded 11 eggs (none of the eggs were hers, they were all her Bantam coop mates and she wanted to brood so badly that we let her) ... Mama and the newbies are in separate living quarters ... all went fine during the incubation stage ... and I got Mama Silkie up every day to make sure she stretched and had something to drink and eat. She cooperated with all of it. Over the past three days, 9 eggs hatched and the chicks (so far) all seem very busy and healthy. The other 2 eggs we removed as there was no sign of life. The mother stayed on the nest most of that time and really wasn't interested in food or drink very much during the hatching stage. We cleaned out the cage and put in fresh hay and clean up those little noxious smelling 'messes' often during the day, and make sure all food and water dishes are clean. Mama seemed fine and the babies were all active and are eating and drinking properly. Mama started to eat and drink more too and she seemed pretty normal. Then ... Mama started to stretch and reached around to preen her backside as she was standing and she just fell over ... I gasped because it almost seemed like she had fainted or blacked out. And she laid there slumped over. Even the babies all stopped and stared at their 'Mama' I picked her up and stood her up and slightly shook her and she seemed to snap out of it. I sat and observed her for half an hour and then made sure there was a little more hay around her and the babies in the nest ... she sat down and they all piled under her. So far she looks okay. Can a chicken faint? Could she have maybe fainted because she is weak from brooding? I am completely baffled by this. I have the babies on the medicated feed and Mama seems to only be eating her regular layer feed. Could the Mama hen get sick from the medicated baby feed if she gets into that? Temperature in the nesting coop area is 80 - 90 degrees with adequate ventilation during the day (but no draft). Since they are in a porch area, it cools down significantly at night, but again is well covered and insulated and blocked from all drafts.
Another note: We live in south central Florida ... so the weather has been pretty nice ... it's just this week that it's cool.
I was sondering that too ... maybe she was woozy from sitting for so long during that hatching phase ... it took three days for all the eggs to hatch. During that time she wasn't very interested in food or water or anything ... she was just concentrating on the chicks.
Silkies do weird things so this doesn't surprise me. She probably was just weak from being on the nest so long. I wouldn't worry about it. Shes a good looking bird~!

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