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Broody hen is worrying me.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by machinfarm, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my buff orpingtons went broody Feb 3. After three nights staying in the nest box I figured she was serious about it so I moved her to a brooding pen and gave her some fertile eggs. She's been sitting great since. HOWEVER, other than the first day she was in there, I do not believe she's pooped. The first day she did a huge unmistakable broody poop, but there have been no others. She's alone in this pen and it's about 5 X 3 feet so it's not as if she might have pooped somewhere and I just can't find it.
    I have picked her up and checked and there is no poop in the nest. I believe she has gotten up at least twice to eat and drink because on those days I noticed her little bowl of water had gone down and her food had peck marks, but she's been sitting for 15 days! I usually feed my chickens fermented feed so I put a plop of it on the edge of her nest a few times and she did eat that, and since it's wet I suppose she's gotten some water from it.
    My concern really is the lack of poop though.
    This morning her comb and wattles look quite pale.
    I have physically removed her from the nest but she just sits on the ground right where I put her and I worry her eggs would get too cold so I put her back on after a few minutes. It's warm today, maybe I should put her off the nest again and wait longer. I don't know. I have incubators, I can finish the eggs for her and break her broodiness...
    She's only nine months old and this is her first time being broody. I don't want her to kill herself!
     
  2. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here she is in her pen. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I took her off and she just jumped right back on. She's constantly sort of chirping and twitching, kinda like she has hiccups. I've heard mamas talk to the babies through the shell so is that what that is, or something else? My overly worried mind is saying she's twitching because she's near death, but that seems a bit dramatic. As I've said, I know she is eating, and she's feisty as ever when I open the lid on her pen, she just is not pooping!
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  3. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just to follow up, I picked her up and looked her over and found that she was positively crawling with mites. So I hurried her off to my garage to get some DE and poultry protecter and while in there she pooped the most horrendous smelling green diarrhea that wasn't too unusual for broody poop except it was crawling with worms. Oiy. She could barely walk she was so weak although when my dog came near she rushed at him and pecked his nose, poor guy.
    So I immediately took her eggs to an incubator to finish off (candled and all seven had active lovely looking chicks perfectly on target for 15 days development), took her inside and gave her a salt/vinegar/dish soap bath and then rubbed her with wood ashes, and then gave everyone a dose of Wazine.
    The first night back in the main coop she was just on the ground under the roost (prime pooping zone!) so I moved her up onto a roost, where she wobbled a lot, a little too weak to balance well. In the morning I found she'd laid a shell-less egg right off the roost. She spent most of the day preening herself and avoiding the other chickens. Today she's much better, her comb coloring is mostly back and tonight I even saw her up on the top roost with the roosters so she's coming back around. I'm glad I acted when I did because I think if I'd left her there to finish off the eggs she would have died.

    My thinking is, she was just far too dedicated, and her lack of dust bathing and of course constant sitting made her a prime target for mites (which we've never had a problem with before). We also have never had anyone have actual worms before this either, I think she just was a perfect target in her weakened state.
     
  4. huntingirl

    huntingirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good for you!!!! Let's see the chicks when they hatch!!!!! Also don't eat the eggs for two weeks. Hope she continues to do well and good luck with your hatching!!!!
     
  5. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! Actually we had our very first ever hatch today, exciting stuff! The eggs from broody hen will hopefully hatch in the next four days, I can't wait!
    I have a question, I can't eat the eggs, but could I incubate them? Or maybe I don't even want to mess with that. It just seems so hard to throw away eggs for two weeks, we average 35 eggs a week and 70 in the trash seems unimaginable! Or maybe I can at least look into a way to compost them without attracting animals or having stinky rotten eggs. Hmm.
    Here's a picture of our babies hatched today, still shiny and new! :) Sorry, I just had to show them off.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Well done in taking action. I'd suggest that you worm your whole flock and ditto for mites, as well as change the bedding in the nest boxes.

    CT
     
  7. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you :) I wormed the whole flock today, and I will be burning the bedding from the broody pen for sure! Do you have any recommendations for keeping the mites away? I change the bedding in the nest boxes once a month or anytime it gets soiled, and I spray poultry protect in the nests/corners/roosts monthly, they also have a dust bathing area with DE and wood ashes. As I said we never had mites before this, and she was in a separate pen behind the main coop and run. But I'm afraid we'll be seeing them more so I'm hoping there's something more :confused:effective I can do. :confused:
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You seem to be doing the right thing - not much more i can suggest to be honest. Maybe more experienced members will chime in later.

    CT
     
  9. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot Premium Member

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    X2. If one has worms you can almost bet the others do to. As far as the eggs it'd be best to just chunk em. I was feeding mine back to the hens but someone said not to do that. I think it was because the working meds would still be in the eggs. I'd also suggest working with safeguard. The wazine doesn't work well.
     
  10. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thank you! I just looked it up on your recommendation and safeguard sounds like the way to go. Do you know the withdrawal time for that though? I see there is a liquid form that can be added to their water, I'll try to get that because the thought of trying to put paste in my roosters' mouths scares me. We have a healthy respect for each other and keep our distances but I don't think they'd hesitate to rip my eyes out if I tried to grab one off a roost! Lol or maybe I'm just a ninny!
     

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