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Broody pullet

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Tycine1, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    I recently had Salt, a bantam pullet, die while brooding eggs she'd hidden from me. She would remain totally hidden one day, and come out for breakfast and some cuddle time with the rooster every other day. I found her face down over a clutch of eggs.
    I candled, dry-wiped the poopy, dirty eggs, then placed them into my incubator.
    Two days later, Nutmeg, another bantam pullet, sister to Salt decides that she's broody and starts to gather a clutch of eggs. I take them away from her and give her Salt's eggs instead.
    Nutmeg was doing the same, every other day breakfasts until I started forcing a drop of chick booster into her mouth in the morning. She now comes out for breakfast DAILY, instead of every other day... I read somewhere that B-vitamins stimulate appetite, what gave me the idea for chick booster. I'm still concerned because these girls aren't full fledged hens... they're broody PULLETS, and really have insufficient fat on them (in my opinion) to successfully brood on so little food. Nutmeg refuses treats. I've tried corn. I've tried sardines. I've tried yogurt. Fruit. She won't accept it. Short of syringe feeding her (I just don't think I could do that), I need ideas on what to do (and words of encouragement); I really don't want another hen to drop dead while brooding. Should I give her more than one drop of the chick booster, she tolerates me opening her mouth for that... and it did seem to improve her appetite.
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  2. mixedUPturk

    mixedUPturk Loves Hatching

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    :hugs sorry about the hen lost! I think your doing a real good job because u got her to come eat Everyday.

    (i misread Bantam Pullet not a quail)

    Sorry fasle alarm Kiki if u come by anyway :oops:

    :fl for Nutmeg!! I would try scrabled eggs
     
  3. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    I tried hard boiled and got a beak turned up. Bantams are SO stubborn! Still... I'm happier having her volunteering to sit on Salt's eggs, I was really uncomfortable with the cleanliness of her eggs in such close proximity to my 60+ quail eggs (hoping that half will hatch). I'm also happy to provide her eggs to sit on that were at least 1/3 of the way incubated, perhaps halfway. She's so skinny (seriously young pullet that just started laying this month!)
     
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  4. mixedUPturk

    mixedUPturk Loves Hatching

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    That is Really insane and yep i would have worried about the cleanliness in the bator too. Im glad shes got them 1/3-1/2 the way incubated too and i think your doing all u can keeping her eating. I didnt even realize u had chickens we always talk quail :gig
     
  5. jlwquilter

    jlwquilter Songster

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    For treats did you try mealworms or scratch? Sometimes a hen will eat one of those when she won’t eat anything else. At that point I’m for anything is better than nothing!
     
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  6. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    No, neither. Mealworms are unavailable here, and I don't purchase scratch as the best feed for chickens is SO sub par that I don't treat with low protein anything. My last visit to the feed store found that there's only 7% protein in their layer feed these days, and they aren't even carrying an "all flock". They change their recipe for the feed frequently, and the protein KEEPS going down. Last year's recipe was 13% protein, for the 'same' feed.
    I was astonished when Nutmeg wouldn't eat yogurt. I may have to break into my cheese and see if shredding it would pique her curiosity enough to swallow.
    Yeah, but I'm down to only three bantams (1 cockerel, 2 pullets). I've had the absolute worst luck with chickens this year. Reproductive disorders left and right, and then Salt found face first in the dirt over a clutch of eggs.
    Canela's eye still shows signs of infection, but she's back to letting me nowhere near her. Too much poking and prodding that eye, I'm guessing. Or, perhaps she feels better enough now that she doesn't need to put up with this human handling her (teehee). In either case, her eye is much better now and I'm still observing her / it.
     
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  7. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Now that I'm thinking about it again, it occurs to me that CORNFLAKES has more protein in it than the stuff they're calling chicken feed these days. Cornflakes comes in at 8% protein!
     
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  8. jlwquilter

    jlwquilter Songster

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    Wow, that's amazingly bad chicken feed. Can you order online? I got my mealworms online - so much cheaper than what they sell for at TSC.

    I know you said you didn't want to force feed but that may be your only option at this point. It's easiest with 2 people - one to hold the chicken and the other to force open the beak and place food inside. I've done scrambled eggs. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

    Good luck - and keep us informed!
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  9. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    I live in Panama. Yeah, the tiny country sandwiched between Costa Rica & Columbia. Online orders... not happening.
    I live alone, er... uh... I'm the only human in the household... but I can get her mouth open by grabbing her waddles in one hand, and using thumb and index finger of other to wedge open her beak... once open, with a finger on the hand that's holding her waddles, slide one of them into the now opened beak to wedge it open while the other hand fills her mouth with something. I guess I'm gonna have to do it... scrambled... scrambled is a good idea, I think I'll cook that with sunflower oil (the extra calories will do her good).
    Thanks again for your suggestions!
     
    mixedUPturk likes this.
  10. jlwquilter

    jlwquilter Songster

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    some use the burrito wrap to be able to handle the chicken on their own.

    I hope you get some food into her as well as water/vitamins!
     
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