Broody hen laid first egg after raising chicks, doesn’t look well

Lee family flock

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2021
Hi- my first ever broody hen raised 4 day old chicks and they are now almost 5 weeks old. Yesterday mama hen laid her first egg, and began acting less interested in her chicks. She isn’t aggressive or rude to them, just not calling to them when food is near etc.
After she laid her egg she began looking and acting sick- she is lethargic and dozing even while standing up etc.
Mama Hen and her chicks live in a caged area inside the main run, so from day 1 all the other hens could see mama and her chicks. They haven’t been integrated yet as I have 3 mean girls at the top of the pecking order and I wanted to wait until the chicks were at least 6-8 weeks old before letting them come together without barriers etc.
But now I’m not sure what to do about my mama hen- can anyone tell me if perhaps she is feeling rundown/it could be caused by a calcium deficiency because her first egg was laid after months of not laying? She has been eating chick starter with her chicks for 4 weeks now.
I have checked for mites but can’t find any, however I will spray her today to try and eliminate that as a possibility.
Yesterday after she laid her first egg I gave her some scrambled eggs and greens, plus some layer feed as her crop wasn’t full.
I haven’t wormed her for a few months as well because of her broodiness/raising chicks etc. her poos today have been runny but I thought maybe it’s because of the change in hormones etc?
Any insights or suggestions would be welcome as I am new to chicken keeping.
Thank you


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Feb 26, 2018
The North-Eastern Corner of Maryland
It's time to separate the youngsters. At five weeks, they are ready to be on their own, but they still want Mom to provide. If she has returned to laying again, she's ready to move on, even if they don't think so.
Brooding and raising chicks takes a lot out of a hen. Until she's back up-to-speed, her system is vulnerable to things that she could normally fight off - like coccidiosis. She likely just needs a break - complete with good food and some vitamin supplements - but keep an eye on her, just in case.


7 Years
Apr 22, 2014
New York
I would separate her from the babies and provide the babies with a heat source if they are not yet fully feathered. I agree with Mroo, I would give her some vitamins to boost her. Where are you located ? I’m wondering if her system is off , because this time of the year hens are molting. Has she molted ?


Dec 27, 2020
That sounds pretty early for her to start laying again, maybe boost her on protein? It might be lack of nutrients due to her fending for the chicks and suddenly laying eggs draining her even more

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