Broody or sick?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Stephanie R, May 24, 2016.

  1. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a Black Australorp, who has always been on the small side, who is just over a year old. Yesterday afternoon/evening she was acting normally. When I went out to secure the coop she and another one of the girls were in nest boxes. I didn't think too much of it since no one had laid that day and sometimes I have an egg waiting for me in the morning when I open up the coop.

    This morning she is still in the nest box. I lifted her out to see if I could determine if something was going on. I removed the fake egg (which I put in there some weeks ago to encourage them to use both boxes instead of competing for one) and put it just outside the box. She was very warm. I couldn't immediately see anything wrong and I felt her vent thinking she may be egg bound - didn't feel anything. She was craning her neck downward and as soon as I put her back in the nest box she tried to get that fake egg in there with her.

    I haven't given her a thorough look-over yet, but because she was so warm and tried to get the fake egg back into the box I'm thinking broody. She hadn't laid any of her own eggs though. Her comb and wattles are red and her eyes are open and clear.

    Does she sound broody?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does sounds broody, but if she never laid eggs. Normally hens go broody AFTER laying a clutch of eggs. I have never heard of a hen that went broody without laying eggs first.
     
  3. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, that's the sticker for me, although she really wanted that fake egg.
     
  4. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there the a possibility that this hen/pullet was laying without your knowledge? If sick, I would think she'd grab for the fake egg.
     
  5. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    No, I don't think so. They were in their run all day yesterday (I was gone so no free ranging yesterday, poor birdies). I walked through the run last night and checked for eggs because I have one that likes to lay in their igloo shelter.

    Not sure what you mean about her grabbing for the egg if she's sick. Or did you mean she wouldn't grab for the egg?
     
  6. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, she is a broody even though she has no eggs. I just went up there and she puffed up like a balloon and fanned her tail out and screeched at me. Now I just have to decide what, if anything, I am going to do about that.
     
  7. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens are so interesting. I just went out there and my BA was in her dust bath. I checked the nest box ... no eggs ... but half a handful of feathers. So I blocked off that box. And she is now happily clucking around the property with her girlfriends.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Do you mean she's never laid an egg? Or she's just not laid recently?

    When a hen goes broody, they quit laying. The idea is there's already a clutch of eggs and they want to start brooding them all at the same time, so continuing to lay would be adding to the clutch after incubation starts, not a good thing.
     
  9. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    No, she's a pretty good layer. The last egg she laid was Sunday. I gather my eggs several times a day.

    I don't know what was going on. She was fine on Monday late afternoon when I got home - out with the other girls in their run. She was in the nest box when I secured the coop last night. In it this morning when I let them out. I checked about 2 hours later and she got all puffy with her tail fanned out. No eggs under her except the fake egg that I removed this morning.

    When I went out an hour later, she was taking a bath and then started scratching and pecking with the other chickens like nothing ever happened.
     
  10. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My thoughts are that she laid eggs even if very few. When eggs are collected hens will go broody on fake eggs or no eggs at all.
     

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