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Broody to Skinny

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by weena1960, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. weena1960

    weena1960 Hatching

    May 18, 2010
    Hi folks,

    I'm brand new to backyard chickens. I'm grateful for all the information available here at Backyard Chickens!

    I bought a couple of laying hens. I started very small to see if I would enjoy having chickens around. I do! I'd like to have more. The past couple of months have been lots of fun.

    However, for the past three weeks or longer, I think my Buff Orpington has been broody. She stopped laying eggs. She wants to sit on an empty nest all the time. I've initiated many of the suggestions for 'breaking a broody hen'. However, living in the deep south where it's extremely hot & humid, there's really not a way to bring down her body temperature. Ice packs under her melt in no time. I have even taken her to let her soak in cool water several times....all to no avail.

    The hen doesn't eat much at all and rarely drinks water. She refuses all treats. She is really beginning to get skinny. How much longer before she gets over it?

    When we first got her, she gave us an egg everyday. Now, nothing. I'm at a loss as to what to do. Will a hen starve herself to death when she is broody?

    I'll have to make better/larger/safer conditions before getting more than the two hens I have. My concern is to not lose one of these.

    Any suggestions or encouragement will be greatly appreciated.


  2. flockof4

    flockof4 Songster

    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    I'm having the exact same problem with my Buff Orp. She went broody about a week ago and each day she's leaving the nesting box less and less. Yesterday and today she didn't leave at all. I'm worried about her not eating and drinking enough. Any suggestiongs would be appreciated.
  3. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    I don't think she should stay on the nest 21 more days but since you want chicks do you think you could sneak a couple under her? Do you think she would accept them?
  4. HaulnFetch

    HaulnFetch Chirping

    Jun 18, 2009
    Strawberry Plains, TN
    We have 10 BOs which seem to take turns being broody. Left to their own devices, I don't think they would leave the nest box either to eat or drink. You don't describe your coop / run or if you free range at all. We typically will let ours out to roam for a few hours in the evening. If we have a broody, we remove her from the nest box, take the broody outside with the others and close the coop door. She will usually just sit there for a few minutes then go berserk after her "trance" breaks. I swear they seem hypnotized.

    After a few minutes, they settle down, go into the run to drink and will then start foraging with the other chickens. I always put some treats and pellets out for the broody to encourage her to eat which she does. After an hour or so, she wants back in and starts marching back and forth in front of the coop door. It's pretty funny. But, as least she has gotten some food and water. Is there anyway you can get her away from the nest box for a while and put some food / water in front of her? A few times this has gone on for 2 weeks or so but they eventually snap out of it.

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