Broody hen is bald

Supernatural

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
62
3
43
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?
 

tigerrrrrrrlilly

Songster
9 Years
Mar 27, 2010
768
4
131
San Diego, CA
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.
 

Supernatural

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 7, 2010
62
3
43
Des Moines
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
wink.png


Thanks again for the info!
 

Lisa202

Songster
9 Years
Aug 20, 2010
718
13
133
Long Island NY
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.
 

newchik715

Songster
10 Years
Aug 31, 2009
331
0
119
Washington
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!
 

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