broody hen won't stop sitting, even with chicks and no eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicken-rooquacks, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. chicken-rooquacks

    chicken-rooquacks Chirping

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    it's been a week and my broody hen won't move at all. she has one chick underneath her, the other eggs did not hatch & i removed them 2 days after the first one hatched. At first i thought the other chickens were bothering her and she was scared to leave the nest, so 2 days ago i put her in a large brooder by herself with the baby chick underneath her, no eggs, and no nest. She still hasn't moved in 24 hours. she eats & drinks once a day, as if she's still sitting. I have to keep placing food & water/grogel under or right next to the hen for the baby chick to eat and drink because the hen won't show it food. The hen is however very motherly towards the chick and accepts it, no aggression whatsoever, she just is treating it like it's an egg. as suggested by a neighboring farmer, i tried sitting the hen in some cold water & then returning her back to the chick, that did not correct things. it's been 4.5 weeks since the hen first went broody & i fear the hen will die and then her weight will squash the chick. but i don't want to over-react because i know that sometimes does more harm than good. so i'm being patient and trying not to interfere with any drastic measures. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

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    Often a hen will remain on or near the nest during the first week or two, so it doesn't sound abnormal to me. Keep the food and water close and leave her be. She should move off after eventually to lead the chick to forage.
     
  3. Hawaii Chicks

    Hawaii Chicks In the Brooder

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    Probably she was expecting for more chicks since she had more eggs. Do you have any chicks she could adopt ?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Cold water is pretty drastic, IMO. :D

    4.5 weeks since hen for went broody.
    3 weeks for incubation(providing you gave her eggs right away),
    so 1.5 weeks since chick hatched...that's not too long.
    Does she have access to the rest of the flock...or is she confined to an area??
     
  5. chicken-rooquacks

    chicken-rooquacks Chirping

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    just going 2 respond to everyone all at once....

    this is relieving to know it's normal. i've heard by many locals it's very dangerous for a hen to be broody well over 3 weeks. it's comforting to know most people on here so far have said the opposite.

    it's really confusing to me tho because the first few days she moved around a bit inside the nest to show the chick food & water, but then later, she hadn't moved at all, literally. so i was worried. it's like she got worse, not better. i thought placing her in the brooder away from all the other chikens that were pestering her would make a diff. but she just kept getting less & less active. it got to the point where the chick was not growing like it should be and it would not forage when i put the food & water near/around, even under the hen because the hen sat down all the way, too dark for the chick to see the food. the hen never rose up so the chick never saw the food or water. i was having to make sure it got food & water every hour at least. the good thing was tho that she didn't sit down on the chick - she had enough sense not to squash it.

    yes i tried adopting, except i couldn't get them in time. we had a big snowstorm right when the chicks were supposed to hatch - only one hatched & then i was snowed in (we live in middle of nowhere no plows, nothing) for over a week. They're coming in the mail next week which will probably be too late by then.

    the other chickens are a bit rowdy right now due to the fact they're scared of the deep snow won't come out, even on the parts i packed down for them . that's why i took her out of the coop & placed her in the brooder. they were trying to peck at her baby and not in a curious kind way, either. There's no heat in the brooder tho, just her.

    and i don't really like the idea of a cold bath either but i was trying to save her life at this point i'd tried everything else & didn't know what to do. when i gave her the bath- mind you it wasn't freezing, just no heat. it was to where she could stand up in it so it didn't cover her completely. she was not at risk of drowning nor did i leave her alone- i stayed there with her for the entire 5 mins she was in the bucket. i also made sure she was good & dry before i took her back to the chick. i would never do something that would harm her.

    i guess i'll just take the advice on here & wait & leave them be & see what happens. At what point/ week should i be worried if the hen does not start moving? like week 8?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

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    If your hen isn't moving off the nest after a week or two I would be worried the hen has something wrong with her. Being broody can be draining but I have yet to have it deadly as they will break after they lose enough weight. I have let some sit for up to 2 months before saying that enough, so yours sitting for 4 weeks shouldn't be an issue usually. Are you sure she was always broody? Sick hens sometimes sit in a nest to escape the others picking on them.
     
  7. Hawaii Chicks

    Hawaii Chicks In the Brooder

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    Some vitamins for her may help. If you get the new chicks, I think the best way to try to make her adopting them is placing them under her at night and checking on them early the next morning, before she gets up. I’ve done it and usually works. Good luck
     
  8. Biddybot

    Biddybot Chirping

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    What temperature is it where the hen and chick are??? If it's cold enough for deep snow already and it's quite cold where she is, maybe the hen's just desperately trying to keep the chick warm enough to survive it's first few weeks of life.
     

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