broody not eating or drinking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CarriDee, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. CarriDee

    CarriDee New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Jan 25, 2014
    NC
    First time I've had a hen sit on a nest with eggs. It's been a week and she hasn't eaten or drank. It's cold outside. I'm concerned. How long can a hen go without food or water?

    Thank you for your response

    Carri Dee
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    174
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Broodies only get off the nest for a short time and rush around to eat, drink and poop before returning to the nest. Because of the short time, it is hard to "catch them in the act". Most likely yours is just taking her broody break at times you are not there to see.
     
  3. peeweesfarm

    peeweesfarm Out Of The Brooder

    46
    4
    24
    Oct 17, 2013
    Willow Alaska
    I don't know what your set up is but I have a hen that's setting on 2 eggs (should be hatching Feb. 2-4th).She gets out of her nest to feed an water but I have stood in the coop to watch her she gets out for 3-5 minutes at a time some times one of the other hens sets while she is out sometimes not . I call her broody , I am thinking I have another hen that's starting to brood ,seeing how it has been in the 40's here in Willow Alaska this January I'm thinking if the 2nd hen is broody I'm going to give her 5-8 eggs to sit on . seeing I have BARN YARD MUTTS for chickens it will be interesting to see what happens. So Sorry for rambling but I have to ask are you sure she hasn't snuck out to feed an water? how cold are you? how long has she been broody? she will eat an drink I think how cold it is a key. But I'm no expert ,Just had the worry about broody then I found out of the nest.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,750
    5,122
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Most of my broodies would get off the nest twice a day to eat and drink. Their requirements are small since they aren't moving around. I will grab them up twice a day, and take them out of the coop and put them down to eat. Some run right back to the nest, and some will go eat and poo. I will also set some scrambled eggs in front of mine in their nest boxes, and they will usually eat it. For some I will also offer water. Of course there is the occasional one who will rip your hand off if you even come near them, and they are on their own.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    507
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Some hens are psycho broody. I've had a few that needed their food and water right in front of them.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If it has been a week then she is definitely getting off to eat/drink when you don't see her. BIrd's dehydrate very quickly so she's getting water at some point.

    That said, I used to have a Buff Orp who was very stubborn about getting off the nest at all, I'd get her out morning and evening just to ease my mind about her. She'd always eat, drink, make a huge poop and run straight back to the nest. But I at least felt better knowing she was actually getting off the nest twice a day.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,750
    5,122
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Yes, I had one last summer that would go to eat and poo, then come back, and someone would be on her eggs, so she would get into another box. I would try to move the eggs over to her, and of course, the next time she went out to eat, she would get back in the original nest. She pecked me so hard making bloody cuts and bruises on both arms and hands every time I got near her, so after putting up with that for 3 weeks, she mellowed out when the chicks hatched. That chicken will NEVER hatch eggs again. Then she abandoned the 3 chicks at 2 1/2 weeks of age.
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    174
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    That is why I segregate broodies into their own little coop and run for the duration. Other hens can't squeeze in to lay their eggs, and the broody can take as long (or little) time as she wants to eat and drink, but only has one nest to return to. Then, when the chicks hatch, they have a little bonding time to learn who Mama is, before I open the door of the mini coop and let Mama take them out and introduce them to the flock.

    I do leave the food and water as far from the nest as I can get it, as I think it is good for them to get off the eggs and stretch their legs for a portion of every day. Plus, forcing them to leave the nest, means they don't end up pooping in it and getting poop all over the eggs.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by