Broody in winter? More likely sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AwesomeFacer, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. AwesomeFacer

    AwesomeFacer In the Brooder

    May 5, 2011
    About a week ago, one of my buff Orpingtons started hanging out in one of the nesting boxes. My fella and I thought she was broody (and maybe she is...) but we live in Western NY and the weather has been hovering around 0 since she's been in the nesting box all day and night. She makes a soft weird clucking noise and puffs up her feathers when we lift her to get eggs. Today she clung on to the nesting box edge when I tried to get her out for food...

    Yesterday, I noticed frostbite on her comb but not on anyone else's comb, maybe because moisture collects and then condensates in that little box, but not in the coop as a whole. When I threw her out of of the box to eat this afternoon, I noticed that the other chickens behaved differently toward her, squawking loudly when "broody" came near or pecking her head when she went to eat from the trough. She eventually ate and drank, and then flew back into the nesting box, much to the squawking of another hen who appeared to be about to lay.

    I also noticed a dark crustiness (like gray/black boogers) on her beak just below her nostrils. It could be dirt I guess, but that substance on her nose, her lethargy, and most importantly the other girls' trying to stay away from her makes me wonder if she's more than broody and frostbit.

    I've never had a broody hen before, so I have a few questions for you all:

    1. I read about petroleum jelly for preventing frostbite, but what about treating it after it starts? Her comb and wattles have white, but are black tipped.

    2. She wants to be in the nesting box, which I think is leading her to be frostbit. Any ideas?

    3. Wih the collection of symptoms (lethargy/broodiness, crusty gunk on nose, reaction from other hens, frostbite) should I consider an illness? Suggestions for interventions?
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    You can put triple antibiotic on her comb to help it heal. I don't know why the nest box would cause her frostbite unless there is a serious draft there. She could be broody(most likely) but she might be sick. If she is broody and you don't want that, you have to break her of it. To do this and check for illness at the same time, isolate her in a dog crate or something, somewhere a little warmer than the coop (but not too much warmer) That way, you can clean her beak/nostrils, look for new discharge, listen for breathing problems, check her poops and monitor her food and water intake. You will be able to come back to the site to find info of any symptoms you notice. Someone is always here to help. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: