Broody or sick?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jilara, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Jilara

    Jilara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like another poster here, I am worried about one of my hens.

    She started laying in January and has been averaging six eggs a week.

    A couple days ago, she was in the nest box all day, and I found her setting on an egg, keeping it warm. I took the egg away and shooed her out, figuring she wanted to brood.
    The past few days, since then, she mostly stays in the box, acting broody but with no eggs. She has stopped laying. I've palpated her, and I don't feel any eggs, so I don't think she's eggbound. Or should I lube up and check in her vent, just to be sure?

    She comes out for a little while, to eat and drink, during the middle of the day, then retreats to the box again. She also did this after I palpated her again today. She fills up her crop while she's out, and seems fairly active when she is, but then she retreats and just turns into a dollup of chicken in the box.

    Does this sound like paracites? She has always been a great forager for bugs and grubs.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If she stays on the nest at night, she is broody
     
  3. Jilara

    Jilara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, she stays on the nest at night. She's not agressive, but she's always been a sweetheart who likes being handled. She's made little protest noises when moved, but that's about it. Is there such a thing as a mellow broody hen?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It depends on the breed, how much they have been handled, and very much on the individual chicken, but, yes, some broodies can be fairly mellow. I assume you know you need to either get her some fertile eggs or break her from being broody for her own good. A broody hen does not eat, drink, or exercize enough to stay healthy for a long period of time.
     
  5. ookedama

    ookedama New Egg

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    I apologize Jilara that this is not something to help you with but just another question from the same boat. I did not know if it was better to start another string along the same lines....but maybe your experience can help ours?
    Our dear many-mixed-breed Mexican banty hen has been broody for ten days now and we can't break it. From the other 'sick or broody' strings I do not think she is sick. She is maybe 1.5 years old. We got her at about 6 months. She has gone broody twice and within two days of us taking her off the nest twice a day she has gotten over it. Not this time. We take her out twice a day still and she eats a bunch and drinks a bunch but she doesn't cluck or act like normal. Kinda stressed I would call it. Poops are normal. No eggs during this but yes for maybe 7 days in a row before. We cleaned all the nest bedding... her rooster, Fred, is fine but soooo lonely that he has taken to hanging out with my husband in the workshop and I feel so sorry for Fred that I am this close to letting him in the house when the cat and dog come in...please help me get Ethel of the nest before I have a rooster in my kitchen.
    Oh ya, by the way I do not have access to good vet care as I am in rural Mexico. The local folks are quite entertained that our poultry are loved pets...
    but they are not much help home-remedy wise.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The best way to break a broody is to keep her in a small cage off the ground with a wire bottom for three or four days. The wire bottom keeps her undersides cool, which seems to help. Give her food and water and she should be fine. Do not give her anything that looks like a nest or nesting materials.

    If you don't have the wire cage, any small cage will do, but it might take a little longer. Just find a way to keep her from going back to her nest.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Jilara

    Jilara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Been thinking my broody might be good with new chicks. Anyone tried giving a broody hen chicks instead of eggs?

    I get her out of the nest box, but she keeps going back. I was hoping to lay eggs, but she just goes in and sits.

    Sigh, this being a chicken mom thing is still new, and I'm stressed over what's happening, since I don't have a lot of experience with this. I've had friends with chickens, but it's different when they're yours. Sort of like kids, LOL!
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:If you don't want her to hatch any, I would take all nesting materials away from her. Put her in a dog kennel or even better a dog crate (wire bottom not comfortable on her bum). Provide her with food and water and see if it doesn't break her broodiness.
    ETA: Oops, ridgerunner beat me to it. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  9. dave_Cash69

    dave_Cash69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yep, soiunds like you got a broody hen on your hands
    ohhh what i would do for one of those. [​IMG]
    ill regret saying that latter
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:There are some risks involved, but it can be done. They are living animals and they do react differently. I haven't done it, but here's the way I would try it.

    A hen and chicks will imprint on each other in the first day or two, so you need a way to get one or two day old chicks. The younger the better. Give your broody some fake eggs to sit on, golf balls, wooden eggs, plastic easter eggs, even egg-sized and shaped rocks. Let her sit on these a week or more. She can't count days but it gives her time to stabilize into the broody thing. And it does not need to be the same number of eggs as the number of chicks you will get. Remember, she cannot count.

    At night slip the chicks under her. Observe that she does not attack the intruders. That is the risk, she might reject the chicks. And make sure you observe early the next morning when she wakes up. That is probably the most dangerous time.

    Odds are she will adopt the chicks and be a great mother.
     

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