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Broody won't eat

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nonnie195, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Nonnie195

    Nonnie195 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    I have been watching my broody hen and she is just not eating. I have her feed within inches from her. I have tried scratch, crumbled chick feed, and layer pellets. It looks like since yesterday she has drank about 1/2 of a cup of water. I checked her bottom and there was runny yellow white on it, the urine part I guess. I cleaned it as best as I could with paper towels. What should I do? Do I take her off the eggs and isolate her with food and water to break her broodiness? If so what do I do with the eggs?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you are trying to hatch the eggs, move the feed and water out of her reach. When both are so close to where she is brooding, she is very likely to soil the nest. Move her off the nest and away from the eggs daily so that she exercises, defecates and then eats and drinks. When they are setting, their feed intake decreases.
     
  3. Nonnie195

    Nonnie195 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    After doing a bit of reading, I did go out and pick her up. (I put a towel over the eggs to try to retain some heat as it is very cold.) She was reluctant at first to even stand up. Once she finally stood, she immediately pooped. She walked around quite a bit and King Solomon, my rooster, kept bothering her. I had to keep him away. She tried to go to the nesting box but I would not let her get in any of them. She tried several times. She walked around a bit more, jumped on the bottom perch, sat there a while, then jumped back down. I kept encouraging her to eat by guiding her to the feeder, but she just looked at it. I finally put her back in the "maternity ward" and she immediately got back on the eggs. I will try again in the morning. Do you really think that she will eat better if the food is not close to her? While it was not that far away in the beginning, it definitely was not as close as it is now and she did not eat. That is why I moved the food and water so close. I have read horror stories of hens that literally starved themselves and I don't want that to happen.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    She knows what she needs. I agree with the above poster, move it out of reach. Personally, I leave my broody hens alone, and don't bother them. They are in the coup with the others, and they stick like ticks to the nest.

    By moving the food and water out of reach, she will get up, walk a bit, (and it is normal for her to be a bit stiff and weak when she first is off the nest) eat, drink and poop. Then be perfectly ready to get back on her nest and get back to work.

    In the highest heat of the summer, I have taken water down, and tried to get them to get a drink,..... but mostly just spilled it. So I quit. She knows more about being a broody hen than either you or I will. As long as she can get to food and water, she will get enough for her needs.
     
  5. Nonnie195

    Nonnie195 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    Ok, I will move it and let you know of what happens today. How do you deal with the odor of the poop?
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I'm not certain what you mean by "how do you deal with the odor of the poop". It stinks - plain and simple. Clean it up if it is overly obnoxious to you. Many of those stories about 'starving' broody hens are actually about hens that die from massive mite infestations.
     
  7. Nonnie195

    Nonnie195 Out Of The Brooder

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    It is just so strong. Right now, the coop has sand so cleanup is not that difficult, but it seems like it would be really hard to clean with the deep liter method.
     
  8. Nonnie195

    Nonnie195 Out Of The Brooder

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    I went to check on her about 1. She had not moved, eaten, or drank anything. I put some food in front of her and she at a little. Then I did the same for the water. She drank about 1/4 cup of water. I just checked on her again and she still had not moved. I put the food and water, interchangeably, in front of her. She ate some. She picked out the scratch and ate a little of the layer pellets. I was told to give her chick feed, but she does not seem to like it. She drank about another 1/4 cup of water. I warmed a towel, not too hot, just enough to get the chill off it, and put the towel over the eggs when I picked her up and took her out of the "maternity ward". She finally walked around a bit and before I could stop her, she jumped in one of the nesting boxes. I had to go to the other side to get her out. Silly bird. I put her back on the floor and sat in front of the boxes. She was not happy, but she finally pooped. While it was still overly smelly, it was not as bad or as much as yesterday. I then let her get back on the eggs. She was much happier then. [​IMG]It would be great if she started doing it on her own. Maybe tomorrow.
     
  9. Cheryl1948

    Cheryl1948 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are chickens being "broody" if they are in the nesting box all day, but not laying on any eggs? My 15 girls are 5 months old. They started laying Dec.22, 2013. They have been laying beautiful eggs. I am getting approx. one dozen a day. The Buffs are in the nesting boxes every day. But, today one of them stayed in the nesting box all day. I didn't disturb her this morning or early this afternoon (except to hand feed her some egg and oatmeal, which she did eat), but when I went down there at 4p.m. she was still in there. I took her out and there were no eggs under her. I felt to see if she was swollen (maybe eggbound). She didn't even want to stand up. I held her for a few minutes, then put her down. She did finally go outside, peck around a little and eat some mealworms I threw to them. Then she went back inside and got right back in the same nesting box. It was getting late, so I took her back out and tried to get her to drink, but she just laid in front of the water. Finally, she got up, went over and ate some oyster shell and then jumped up on the roosting poles with the rest of the girls who were coming inside. None of them have acted this weird yet, so I got a little nervous. What should I do if she does this again tomorrow?
     
  10. Nonnie195

    Nonnie195 Out Of The Brooder

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    That's weird. From what I have read, they can go broody even if there are no eggs. Everyone talks about how easy it is to raise chickens, but from all that I have read, there is a lot more to it than just throwing out feed and making sure they are closed up at night. I feel like all I do is read about raising them and even with all of the reading, I feel like on a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being an expert on chickens, I am probably a 2. The crazy thing is that as soon as I think everything is going smoothly, some other problem arises that I have no idea of what to do. So, back to reading. Like right now...is it really ok to extend lighting so that they will lay. Maybe God has a reason for them not to lay much during the winter months when there is little daylight. Maybe their little bodies need to rest. I don't know. That is something else I need to research.
     

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