Broody is a bag of bones. Selfless?


BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist
13 Years
Aug 17, 2008
Larry, KS
My Coop
My Coop
Luna is a fine mother, watching, teaching, guarding, etc.

The 4 chicks are happy and Luna seems to be happy managing them and beating the feathers off of anyone who comes near them...except me. She doesn't seem to be eating any more than she did while sitting on the eggs, however, and she's really lost a lot of weight.

I am feeding a 17% mix from the feed mill (lovely fresh stuff grown locally) and she gets treats and a bit of scratch, plus all the chick feed and yard stuff she can eat- they range my backyard all day, and there are buckets of things to dig up.

When observed, she is still really not consuming much when at the feeder or food found about, but giving it to the chicks, which vary in age from a week to a week and a half old.

She seems to be energetic enough, but her comb is pale and there isn't much left of her under her feathers- she's a BR, so looks are quite deceiving. I've given her yogurt and tofu and other stuff when I think about it, but she seems more concerned with the chicks eating.

There aren't any parasites- no mites, no worms, etc. very clean and tidy; feed contains food grade DE.

Is this normal? Do mommas remain selfless for some time? The whole 4 weeks of being broody prior to hatch (had to get her some eggs- took a week) she rarely ate, as is described as normal- we pushed the food and kept stuff handy, nonetheless.

Should I worry? Is there anything else I can do? How the heck do people keep chronic broodies healthy?


11 Years
Jan 23, 2009
Irwin, Pennsylvania (Pittsburg area)
I don't remember my broodies getting that thin. They did loose weight, but, after the chicks were off the nests, they gained their weight back.

If you are really worried about her, you could take the chicks away from her and return her to the chicken flock. She will go back to eating then.

But, if she continues to take care of the chicks and doesn't appear to be unhealthy, I would leave the family together. She is probably happy.


11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
South Central KY
An increase in protein may help her get her weight back, and it will help the chicks grow a little faster, too. I feed my new chicks and moms 20% protein. Rather than switch feed, you can increase theirs with some high protein treats, such as yogurt, any dairy products, black oil sunflower seeds, meat and fish scraps, (just not poultry of any kind).

I have some extreme broodies, right now I have 7 broodies, and 2 new moms. Oh wait, that was last time I looked, last night. There may be more by now.

DH tended them this morning, he may have missed any new ones.
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Goose and Fig

Grateful Geese
10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
Fall Creek Falls TN
I had a broody BO that was terribly pale 2 weeks after hatch. The chicks were sold- and she went back to the flock and is right as rain now. If in doubt- try mac-n-cheese. I swear my girls would explode if I gave them those little shells every day. Who doesn't like mac-n-cheese?

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