Broody hen is bald


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
Des Moines
My BO started molting about two months ago, and went broody about 2 weeks ago. Every morning when I let the hens out, I toss Ms. Broody out into the yard to eat something for-crying-out-loud. We're waiting out the broodiness, but I've tossed her out of the nest box a couple times a day since this started.

Anyway, yesterday I noticed that she's completely bald on her underside. Her breastbone is bare (and kind of gross, honestly). Obviously this is kind of an issue since we live in Iowa and it's still below freezing here most of the time.

Is this normal for broody hens to be bald? Should I worry?
Also you might wanna check for bugs just in case. Broodys are more susceptible to mites and lice. She could be just picking herself, but you never know.
Put a bunch of straw or other nesting material around her to try and keep her from using her feathers. Feed her extra protien in case she is eating her feathers, she likely needs it anyway if you have to force her to go eat. Put some chick starter or gamebird feed next to her in the nest along with some water.
I considered she may be doing a "feathering the nest" thing, but I haven't seen any feathers in the nest box. Eating them? I guess she must be. My other hens have not lost any feathers, so I don't suspect parasites, however I will check them all over carefully just to be sure (Thanks for the link, btw, that will help a lot!) The others haven't molted or shown any broody behavior at all, and they're all a year old; they pretty much ignore the broody hen, but she is Coop Queen, so maybe that's in their best interest

Thanks again for the info!
I also just read that they do that so their skin is against the eggs...maybe for a more moist environment at the end? My broody also has feathers missing underneath, but it's on the sides underneath, not her complete belly. I too saw very little feathers in the nest. I was feeding her lots of meals worms twice a day, so she was getting protein.
wow...this is the first time i heard that broodies will pick their feathers off to use for the nest or to eat....actually it makes sense to me but i had never come across it. Very good to know as i hope to have my own backyard hatch one day!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom