Broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ebanders, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Ebanders

    Ebanders In the Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2018
    Hello,

    I just need some help with a hen that I suspect is broody. She's an 9 month old Welsummer. She becomes very aggressive and puffs up when I try to get to the nesting box and she will do nothing but sit on the eggs all day. I think she may have gone broody around 3 weeks ago but we were able to break that by locking her out of the nesting box. I've since been overseas and she's back at it.

    I'm having a couple of issues as the other chickens are making a lot of noise about not being able to get in the nesting box (I don't blame them at all) and my Welsummer is becoming very malnourished. She barely eats and I'm concerned with how much weight she has lost. I have put her into a broody cage to try and stop her. I have read that they should have no bedding but I am concerned as she has a very prominent breast bone as a result losing a lot of weight with her suspected brooding, so I have given her some straw for the time being. It is quite red and I don't want her bone to hit the floor when she is resting. Should I remove the bedding and am I doing the right thing with the brooding cage?

    Also I was wondering the best ways to help her gain weight and stay healthy. I have given her some tuna and a cooked egg but was unsure of other things I should be trying to give her. My uncle suggested vitamin B to help her perk up but I haven't been able to find anything to validate this.

    I have only ever owned hybrid breeds in the past and so have never experienced this and I don't want my hen to become unwell. She has recently been wormed and dusted and I haven't seen any signs of mites, fleas or worms.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ebony
     
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  2. BonDEEroo

    BonDEEroo Songster

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    I hand-feed my broody hens a bit each day, giving them their regular feed, sunflower seeds (Vitamin E and selenium) and fresh sweet corn. At least I know they’re getting something. There isn’t a chook in the universe that doesn’t love soft fresh corn kernels. They learn to trust me so I can pick them up and carry them outside daily - if they run back in I let them. Sometimes they stay out and eat, drink and dust-bathe, then go back in.

    Letting them hatch a clutch of chicks is said to work, but I found that they can go broody again within a month or two.

    Making them eat something nourishing every day is really important. And vitamins in the drinking water.
     
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  3. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    My broodiest hen loves dry cat food. Very high in protein.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC...sorry you're having troubles.
    What is your location?
    Pics of breast and broody cage?
    No other issues....swollen belly, trouble walking, pooping OK, etc?
    Not sure if you have time, but might try to let her out of broody cage a couple times a day and prompt her to move around with the flock. Keep tempting her to eat and drink in crate, might give some vitamins in water for a boost, just some Savachik or Nutri Drench.
     
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  5. Ebanders

    Ebanders In the Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2018
    Thank you or the food suggestions! I know she loves fresh corn and I'll try to give her some cat food and add vitamins to her water.

    I'm in Melbourne, Australia. Its coming up to mid summer for us but I believe she started to go broody early-mid December. She's not sick in any other way that I have noticed. I locked them all out of the coop yesterday and she was quite happy to have a run around for about an hour and then she was trying to find ways to get back into the nesting box. I'll definitely let all of the chooks out to have full roam of the garden again. Seems to distract them for a bit from laying.

    I put her in a cat carrier yesterday afternoon just until I can go out this morning and get the one pictured below Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 8.18.05 am.png Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 8.23.21 am.png


    I wasn't quite able to show the redness on the breast bone but it looks better today.

    26908970_2003703749646540_490368584_o.jpg
    She is terribly thin so that is my number one concern at the moment. She loves tomatoes and has been happily eating them. I think I just need to work on getting her some more protein.

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I really appreciate the help!
     
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  6. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    She's gorgeous. I had a hen get a bare spot like that when she was broody. Turns out the zip tie that I secured the nest box with was rubbing against and irritating her skin. My cat food is about 40% protein, btw. I've been feeding it to one of my molting hens.
     
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  7. Ebanders

    Ebanders In the Brooder

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    I just had a look in the nesting box and there was a golf ball in there. That could have possible been causing the redness if she's been nesting on it for a while. I've got some 32% protein cat food so I'll see how that goes and then might try to go find something a little bit higher in protein. Thanks!
     
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  8. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    Yep that was probably it. Dried mealworms are probably high in protein. I also like to mix 20% crumbled chicken feed with moist scrambled egg. It sticks to the egg, so I can make sure she eats at least some real chicken food.
     
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  9. Ebanders

    Ebanders In the Brooder

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    I'd pulled out the dried mealworms and she is a big fan! I'll give the scrambled egg a go. Have you noticed much of a difference in you melting hen?
     
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  10. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    Oh yeah. Until a few days ago I was calling her Naked Butt. Now she's Fluffy Butt.
     
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