Broody hen? HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kittykat007, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. kittykat007

    kittykat007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2016
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    I'm hoping someone can shed some light on one of my hen's recent change in behaviour. Winnie will be 8 months old next week. She is a silkie. She started laying a little over a month ago. She had been laying about every 1-2 days. It has now been four days since she last laid an egg. We noticed she had been spending all of her time in the nesting box. She would act defensive when we would approach her- the defensiveness is not a new behaviour with her. Both of our hens do this after they lay their eggs. Normally she would have laid by now. The first day we immediately jumped to the conclusion she was egg bound because she had been in the nesting box, but did not lay. Keep in mind, we are chicken rookies- other than wanting to be in her nesting box, she was normal. She eats, drinks, poops etc. Needless to say she had an unnecessary Epsom salt soak....Based on our many google searches, we're thinking she's just being broody. To try to break this, we lock her out of the nesting box. When we do this, she's happy to free range around the yard, and seems to be acting normal. But, the second we open the hatch, she's back in the nesting box. And just a note, when our other hen lays, we take the egg away immediately. The only other thing to mention that may be relevant, is our other hen has been a bit of a jerk to Winnie. She has in the past pecked her when they're both interested in the same thing, but it seems to be more frequent. Just worried Henny Penny knows something is wrong with Winnie that we aren't aware of.

    Should we be concerned that she hasn't laid an egg in four days in regards to her health (egg bound etc). We don't need her to lay eggs. We just want her to be healthy.

    Anything we can do to help her that we haven't been doing already?

    ◦ Is she just broody?
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Definitely broody; I could tell that as soon as you said the word "Silkie." I've given up even trying to break my broody Silkies, they just go back to it after a few weeks, lol.
     
  3. kittykat007

    kittykat007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2016
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    That's a relief! Sort of...Should we continue trying to break her, or just leave her be? We're worried she won't eat and drink enough if we don't lock her out of the nesting box.
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Eh, I honestly never bother breaking them unless I've got more than a dozen at a time and they're clogging up the nesting boxes. Never seen a bird stupid enough to actually starve itself to death.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Unless you place your broody in an open mesh bottom cage and confine her there, her broodiness is liable to last for almost a month, and you'll be fighting her every day trying to keep her out of the nest. It can be exhausting, and that tactic rarely works to change her hormonal condition back to normal.

    But to make certain she really is broody, there are signs. A broody emits a rapid, fussy, low-pitched cluck that sounds a lot like a popcorn popper. She usually has feathers missing from her breast region on either side of the keel bone. When disturbed on the nest she will flatten herself and puff up, looking a lot like an angry badger, and she is likely to screech at you. She might even take a nip at your hand if you stick it in her nest.

    If she has all those signs, then you can be sure she's broody. The reason for the open mesh bottom cage is to circulate cool air under her which cools her body temp down, in turn, reducing the broody hormones. It usually takes about three days in the cage and she will return to normal. But hard cases can take up to ten days to return to normal.

    Simply chasing her off the nest doesn't do much to reduce her body temp and you need to do that to get the hormones back to normal. I've tried just leaving the broody in the run and locking her out of the coop, but she will just dig a "nest" in the floor of the run and hunker down. It never works. Her hormones keep raging as long as she can find a way to make a nest somewhere. Do yourself and her a favor by finding a broody cage for her.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. gummybear61

    gummybear61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im habing the same problem thank for the post and rhe advice given... i at first thought jelly was habing a hard time laying then it hit me, no she broody . this is been goinf om 2 days now at first we tried leabing her be cuz we didnt want to disturb her laying but now .we bring her in at night and during day we close the broader to make she eats and drinks. i still might take her to vet . just to make sure nothinf else is going on with her.
     
  7. kittykat007

    kittykat007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2016
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    [​IMG]
    Now her poop looks like this. ***???

    She is acting completely broody as described in the responses above. But now I'm scared she's sick.
     
  8. kittykat007

    kittykat007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2016
    Calgary Alberta Canada

    She's acting differently now. Her poo is yellow and weird as pictured in previous post
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    That's not broody poop. She's sick. I would start her on an antibiotic immediately. Amoxicillin is an all spectrum. That's what I use. One 250mg capsule per day for 10 days.
     
  10. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    That doesn't look like normal broody poop.


    Could you describe her new behavior, maybe post some photos?
     

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