Broody Maran on nest is looking sick and thin any ideas?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by oesdog, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Cuckoo Maran Gerty has been sitting the nest for a long while now- The eggs are due to hatch on 8th July so she has about 6 days to go.
    However she is totally the opposite to last year when she went broody. Bertha was broody at the same time and Gerty would push her off the nest then get bored after 2 hrs and go play. Bertha was moved and went on to hatch 4 live viable chicks. 5 hatched in all but one was a cull. Gerty was really jealouse and ended up brooding mice which was funny but everytime I kicked them off her nest she attacked me.

    Now it is her turn to be momma and she is determined to hatch these eggs. Bertha is out of the picture because she has injured her leg and is in the hospital pen. So there isn't any trouble this time. Gerty went broody and was storing eggs for about 3/4 days before we let her stay on fertilized eggs. We swaped her collection for ours. She was on the nest constantly for a week and then came out once to go to the toilet. She didn't stay out at all as within 5 mins she was back on the nest. She has been there ever since. It is like she is completely opposite from last year and is determined to get these to hatch for her. However when I checked her last night she was asleep way before the other girls. Tucked into a ball with her head under her wing and even opening the coop didn't disturb her. She is exhausted. This morning I looked in on her and her comb and wattle are white and she is very thin. She always has food and water in easy reach "room service" . But wont move even a few inches to get it. She has extra vitamins in the water and does drink some of it but rarely touches the food even though its practically under her nose. I give her nice things but she never seem to want it, even treats like banana and lettice and stuff she would normally go for. I gave her egg and fish scraps and yogurt but NO !!! At the start she would let me stroke her and fuss her but now if I put my hand near her even to change the water she attacks me - she is very protective of her nest, more so as the hatch day comes - I am worried about her now as she hasn't been out even to poo for over a week and she hasn't seen the sun apart from 5 mins about 8/9 days ago. I leave the coop door open but she never goes out. Bertha would go stretch her legs and poo and go eat nice things and she didn't much care if you lifted her or looked at the eggs under her. Gert is completely obcessed with her nest and totally different.

    Bertha may have to be a cull as her leg is not mending as yet so that is very upsetting for us - we don't want to lose Gerty as well though she is looking very very poorly. What can we do???? Gerty is our head girl - we call the top 3 girls the buzzards! Now we may lose two of them. Isobella the other one is left in charge of the flock but she is a terrible pain in the whatsit! She keeps escaping and getting the girls to go up on the conservatory roof! - So I end up with Hens knocking the study window at the top of the house! Even though Isobella has had her wings clipped she is just such a menice when the other two buzzards are not there! Its kind of a bit crazy here right now!

    Oesdog - HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Is she pooping in the nest? Are you sure she never leaves?

    Sometimes one won't, and when this happens you have to force the issue. It's not very common, but they can die while broody if they don't get up at all. Use heavy gloves and just pick her up, take her outside, "chase" her a bit -- whatever you need to do to start her eating, drinking, scratching, etc. You could even lock her out of the nest for a while -- in this heat even a few hours would not affect the hatch much if at all, and if nothing else she would get her some exercise, and hopefully get hungry in the process.

    I take my broodies off the nest once or twice a day just on general principle, because I don't like that a broody usually loses some weight. Personally I don't think it's a good idea to put food and water within reach of the nest. They are essentially in a trance while sitting anyway, unlikely to eat or drink, and they need the exercise.
     
  3. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

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    is she brooding in the hen house? check every nook and cranny for red blood mites. ive just had a broody nearly die after being sucked every day and night by these little blighters...as the broody was persistant that she wouldnt leave her nest, the mites could feed off her 24/7..i just didnt notice them until i saw how ill and pale she looked one day . dusting the house with anti lice/mite powder did the trick and some extra proteins and iron rich foods (spinach went down well) for mama helped her get through the rest of the 'broody' session.
     
  4. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks - I already got rid of mites and there are no sign of them on any of the other birds that used that hen house only two weeks ago to lay. She is the only one who is ill looking. I think more likely because she never leaves the nest. Yes I am certain she has not left the nest at all. I am here everyday and the hen house is in sight of me. I have never seen her outside except for that one time to poo. There isn;t any sign of poo in the nest at all. It is as if she doesn;t want to eat because she doesn;t want to poo and have to leave the nest. Bertha didn;t leave the nest for about 6 days right at the end of the hatch and she came off the nest and exploded in poo cause she ate like a pig while she was out. I will go push Gerty off the nest. I know she is feisty but thats why I like her she is a very good leader and keeps the girls safe and in check all of the time unlike Isobella who just wants to lead them all into bother.

    Thanks Oesdog - going to evict the darling!!!!! - hope I still have my fingers!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Are you offering her food and water right there in the nest box? I've had to do that with a stubborn broody before who just would not get up! It was upsetting for me, she needed extra care... lost a LOT of weight and was way too tired to get up to go poo when she needed to. Check her poo for worms too if you could they make life miserable for birds not eating well. I usually add DE to mine's feed as a natural dewormer just in case.

    I really hope she pulls through to be an awesome mama!
     
  6. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I managed to get her off the nest - it was a bit of a struggle but I pushed her clear of the eggs and then used a bit of wood to persuade her to go out the coop door. Then I closed the hatch so she couldn;t get back in. I had a good look. Actually the back end of the nest by the wall of the coop had a pile of poo in it. So she was just pooing where she sat. I got the wood and moved it away from the eggs and put some clean straw down there. Sadly one of her eggs seem to have been pushed over there where her tail would have been so it didn;t get the warmth of her body. It was way cold. I don;t know how long for so I popped it back in the middle of the others. Maybe she dumped it with the poo cause its not growing they seem to know don;t they? Anyhow she is outside. Oh how funny she is like she is drunk poor thing. She was laying on her legs so long they wouldn;t move and everytime she moved her head to clean her bum she fell over. She seems to be a bit better ballanced now and was eating out of a bowl I put in her pen though she isn;t drinking.

    Yes I do put food and water right in the pen beside her. I will still do that because she is sooooo not going to come out unless I make her. She was more interested in her mates than anything else. They all came up to the fence to see her and the daft thing was that they were all in a line and Gerty started to preen herself and they all followed copying her even doing their necks when she was and wings when she was. I guess they miss her a lot and its good to see she is still BOSS even through the fence wire. Isobella didn;t look very pleased to see her though. Bertha is still looking sorry for herself and lonely the other side of the yard. I am not holding out much hope. She cannot weight bare at all and the leg and foot are way swollen up still. Not good for a big bird. I think she may well be coming to the end. I need the leg and foot to go down so we can see if she gets any movement or strength back? I think the ligament in the leg is shot. The new chicks are just Leghorns not like Bertha and Big red - both sussex. I am a bit sad Bertha isn;t brooding this year and of course Big Red was murdered!!!!! What a loss!

    Better go check Gerty I opend up to see if she would go back to her eggs. I can't leave her off too long because its 6 pm here and not that warm in Ireland.

    oesdog - will let you all know if we get any chicks and how Gerty is getting on as a mom.

    Ok I just went down to check and she is right back on the nest. I guess it was about 5. 30 when she came out and it is now 6.10 so that means in over 2 weeks she has only been of the nest for 45 min tops!!!!!!

    I may kick her off again in a day or two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011

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