Broody Hen Issues - A story

firerunner

Chirping
6 Years
May 4, 2013
55
24
84
My chickens are my pets and are very well cared for. We let them go broody and hatch every year, if they so desire.

This year we had three go broody on us but one hen our blue copper maran had a rough time at it.

I lost count of the days for her (life issues long story) But five days ago I knew it was over. Not sure why NONE of her eggs hatched when the lavender hatched 7 out of 10 and the buff hatched 5 out of 6.

I let Clicken (my hen) even stay on her nest a few extra days (IMO a BIG mistake)

Finally five days ago I moved her and it was just bad, but worse was the fact that Clicken couldn't walk. She was all SKIN and bones, the other two hens would eat and drink but she refused. I put her with the others and she couldnt stand would lose her balance and falls.

So I did what any mother would do and brought her in the house and started recovery efforts with her.

First night all she did was lay there and make these pathetic little clicking noises was so sad.

Second day , I went out and BOUGHT 4 day old chicks (ya really) and put them in the pen with her. I added meal worms to her diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt, as well as medicated chick starter for the babies. When I put the peeps in with her, she sat up and took notice. We bath Clicken cause well she is sitting in her poop. SHE LOVES THE BATH!!

Third day - Still not walking but eating and sitting up and making momma noises to the new peeps. Peeps are a little afraid of this big black feathery thing so they are staying away. Again we bath Clicken cause well she is sitting in her poop. SHE LOVES THE BATH!!

Day four - We take her outside and start physical therapy with her making her stretch her legs, we do this three times a day, she is not happy to be away from her peeps and she now attacks us (via) sitting if we reach in for them.

Day five (Today) She is standing ON HER OWN!! Still not walking she falls but she is getting up and sitting down all by herself. and the peeps have adopted her as their momma. As I type they are all cuddled happily in my florida room.


I am thrilled!! I have no idea why my broody hen stopped walking (think it was starving itself) but I do expect her to be walking in the next couple of days and really taking care of her babies and I swear, when we put those peeps under her the first day, the lite came back into her eyes and she has the will to live!


We thought on day one that she would die. She was so weak so thin and so depressed (yes really depressed) but here we are five days later and she is alive and well and we expect it to continue.


Has anyone else ever had this happen with a broody hen????
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,050
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Howdy firerunner

I am pleased that Clicken is recovering and you may be right in that the bubs have given her the will to live .. I like a happy ending and it sure does sound like your story is going to have one.

I have read many many times on BYC that as long as you leave a broody with some food and water, she will ensure that she gets off the nest at least once or twice a day and has something to eat and drink. I have broodies that do this.

One of my gals, Cilla, did not get that memo! She has had 3 hatches now and on her first hatch she did not move for the first 3 days and I knew that this was going to be a problem. She sinks so far into the broody zone; nothing is going to make her move.

For the rest of that hatch and her two subsequent hatches, I have had to move her in the morning and the afternoon to ensure that she does get something to eat and drink and a bit of a leg stretch.

Working from home, I am able to take her drinks of water during the hotter days and I also feed her treats while she is on the nest, meal worms etc.

So it is possible that Clicken did not get that memo either
wink.png


If she goes broody again down the track and you let her be a mumma again, I would definitely keep an eye on her to ensure she is leaving the nest.

Some people actually put the food and water close to the broody to ensure that she eats and drinks but I personally prefer that they stretch those legs also, so do not do that myself.

I note that you mention your chickens are your pets (mine too) and that they are very well cared for and this is not a contraindication to that, just a thought. No matter how well cared for and loved our chickens our, sometimes 'pests' are inevitable.

Broodies on the nest are a perfect environment for lice/mites which cannot resist the constant supply of warmth and food.

Is it possible that Clicken fell victim to either and her lack of condition may be a result?

Has she been wormed? Another thought could be worms. While a non-broody hen may cope with a few worms in the system, a broody on the nest not getting much to eat would not be so tolerant of a few worms.

Please keep us updated how she goes and I wish you all the best with her and her little life savers
smile.png
 

firerunner

Chirping
6 Years
May 4, 2013
55
24
84
Oh see I put there food in the nest with them, so really they dont have to leave to get food.
But I knew she wasn't eating or drinking because every morning I would scoop out the old food and give her fresh water and it just didnt look like she was eating/drinking where as Cuddles (the lavender) and Cinnamon (the buff) I KNEW they were eating.

Hmmm might be a good idea to keep the food a little away to encourage them to stretch those legs.

And yup they were just wormed early jan/feb (in florida so winter isnt winter here) I like to worm them when the egg production i s lower due to the shorter daylight hours this way I dont feel like I am tossing so many eggs..:). We did check the nest for mites etc but we stay on top of that. I have 17 chickens plus the peeps so I worry too much about illness (so my hubby says lol)

I just went out to the florida room (argh we also rehab wildlife and currently I have 14 animals in that room!) and the peeps are under her wings and she is acting like the proud momma !

I am hoping she begins to walk in the next couple of days. It sure was nice to see her getting to her feet today all by herself! And maybe in a week get her and the peeps back in one of the smaller pens closer to her flock.

We will see what tomorrow mornings physical therapy does lol
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,050
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Kudos to you for doing wildlife rehab .. I wish I had the room and time; definitely something I would be interested in doing.

As I mentioned, I am just going on my experience with Cilla, but even if she had food and water within reach, she would probably not eat or drink it.

Some chickeneers are going to roll their eyes if/when they read this, but she sort of goes into a broody trance and physically moving her or gently tapping her beak with a meal worm is pretty much the only thing that will snap her out of it.

She is a very friendly, placid, non flighty hen so not much phases her. While I have had broodies peck me when moving them or screeching at me when I check on them, raise the alarm if they sense danger etc; Cilla just happily sits there, no protests, no pecking, in her own little world
wink.png


Good luck with the physical therapy and I do so hope she continues to improve.
 
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