Broody J. Bantum

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Linda Stumph, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Linda Stumph

    Linda Stumph Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!

    My broody bantum hen has lost all her underneath feathers in the process of hatching eggs. She hatched one yesterday and has 4 more she is laying on. When we checked her last night we picked her up to see if anymore eggs had hatched and noticed all the feathers were gone on her stomach area. This had to have happened all of a sudden. Can anyone tell me what might be going on? Is she sick? There is no molting going on yet with any of my chickens.
    Thanks, Linda
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Broodies pluck their breast feathers when sitting on eggs. Some pluck more feathers than others. This allows better skin to egg contact, to keep the eggs warm and most.

    Best to leave her alone at this stage and let her hatch her chicks!
     
  3. Linda Stumph

    Linda Stumph Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Thank you so much. When she went broody the first time about 6 months ago, she maintained all her feathers and that is why I thought something must be wrong. I am so relieved.

    I have another question. When she hatched the first egg she still had 4 more to hatch. We left her in the coop with the other chickens and kept checking on her. Towards evening when we checked, we couldn't find the chick anywhere, but there was a full size egg that had been layed in her nest. We removed it from underneath her and put her back on her baby eggs. What do you think happened to the baby chick?
    The first time she went broody we removed her and her eggs from the coop and put her by herself. Everything went fine and she hatched 2 beautiful chicks. There seems to be numerous opinions whether you should remove mama and her eggs, or leave with the flock so they will be easier to get the flock to accept them back. What do you think? Thanks again.
    Linda
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've had maybe 6 or 7 batches hatch out, and I've done it both ways. I've settled on separating for the setting period,, then mama raising the chicks with the flock. No integration problems, and it's what happens in nature, of course: mama hides her nest to set on the eggs, then brings the chicks into the flock. I could list a bunch of other reasons, but you've probably read them all already. [​IMG]

    Any number of things could have happened to the chick. Actually she could be caught up under the mama's wing, and you'd be surprised what tiny corners they can hide in. A certain percent will just die, and it's likely that the mama or another hen will then eat it (sorry.) With mine, there have always been some of the other hens who will "go after" the chicks, but they never got close enough that I was at all sure they would have harmed the chicks; they might have just been curious. Once I tried to bond a broody to some chicks I'd bought by slipping them under her. I left them alone overnight, and in the morning the chicks were huddled together in a corner of the coop, and the broody was back on her nest in her broody trance. The other hens were walking around the coop, paying no attention to the chicks, even when they started runnign around when I came in or went to catch them. The end of that story is even more fun. I raised the chicks by themselves for about 3 weeks, in a pen inside the coop with chicken wire walls, where they could see the flock. A broody was sitting on a nest the whole time. When the chicks were 3 or 4 weeks old, the broody decided they were her chicks, madly pacing along the walls and clucking, and the chicks were following her on the other side of the fence. So I let them in together. For a month this broody acted like the chicks were her day olds that she was raising, trying to teach them to eat, and trying to cover them all at night. The chicks were practically independent but let her do her thing anyway. You just never know.... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

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