Can a chicken die from broodiness?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Qi Chicken, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    I know this sounds crazy but we have a buff orp that has been broody for almost 4 months. I have put her in a wire bottomed cage for 3 days at a time 3 times. She is ok for a few days, maybe a week, then goes right back. I lifted her up today and she is just so thin. She sits in the box ALL THE TIME and always has eggs under her that I gather daily. She doesn't even bother to sit in the box with the most eggs. She does change boxes.

    We already have trouble in the coop. A rooster was injured by a dog. Lost lots of feathers. Healed. Put him back. Now hens pecking him. I feel like we have problems already and don't want to add more. But she doesnt' seem right. We have a big wire cage but their water freezes when I put them in there. I don't know how to put anyone in isolation in the winter. rooster or broody. We had a hen in the house for 3 months in the summer and we can't do that again. She will eat a few bites of BOSS or scrambled egg but I NEVER see her off the nest. She must get off sometimes though b'c there is not poop in there. WHAT TO DO?

    Our coop is big 11x12 but I don't know how I would separate her if I let her hatch. We do have big wire cages 3x4 ? that I could put on the floor of the coop? But the water would freeze.


  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Yes they can because being broody is hard on their bodies. Go to my BYC page - I realize it is about integrating chicks into the flock, but that same small cage is also jail for broodies who just cannot get over it. No nesting materials, only water and food, no treats, no other birds. JAIL! It has worked several times. Oh and give her canned corn. A mod suggested that for me and it worked.
  3. kooltex

    kooltex Songster

    Oct 15, 2009
    NE Tx
    I had one that did. A Gold Laced Polish. She never would get off the eggs. Finally she got weak from not eating enough and not drinking. She died. She was soooooo skinny. This was from just going broody once. One batch of eggs, they were almost due to hatch when she died.
  4. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Songster

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    well she sounds determined. Maybe your idea on putting a wire cage in the coop will work. I would try and hang something over it or something so the other chickens dont jump up top and poo on her :S no nice way to say that. As far as the water freezing.... Im from Tx and it doesn't freeze too much to worry about here.

    Good luck

  5. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    Oh gosh, now I'm scared she will die. Debiraymond, that is a great set up with the communicating door. We could do that. The coop is only half the building, the other half is a shed. Maybe we could do something like that. I still don't know how to keep the water from freezing in an isolation coop. the other half of the building is much colder but the coop itself is well below freezing too. I haven't used heat and they seem fine. I did try a red brooder light in there for heat but it seemed to keep them up all night. And they were laying like crazy, unnaturally crazy. I don't know if it made them peck less? I thought about turning it on again for the poor rooster but didn't want to stress them out with not sleeping. I didn't think a red light would do that but they were up pecking around at 10 pm. Maybe put the big cage in the basement? Our cats sleep down there. That could not be good.

    But overall opinion is that I should do something to stop the broodiness, right? She doesn't seem to be getting over it.

    ETA I'll give her corn tomorrow! Creamed or regular or doesn't matter???
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  6. jerrys59

    jerrys59 In the Brooder

    May 6, 2009
    If You Can Put A Heatlamp Or Light Bulb Next To The Water It Shouldnt Freeze.
  7. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:Corn = doesn't matter. And we have an oil heater in there for the water issue. Typically, cats LOVE chickens - as in protecting them!!!!

  8. RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather

    RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather Songster

    Mar 19, 2010

    Yes, Broodies often perish when they are setting. It is a sad truth but it does happen.

    Possible reasons:
    1) first time broody
    2) not enough body reserves (basically hen went broody as a skinny hen)
    3) not getting off the nest to maintain body weight/fat
    4) Low ranking hen
    5) Hen refusing to get out of empty nest

    There are other reasons but when I had a hen that went broody she was 1,2,3 and 5 on my list the 4 was not always the case. But when one of my hens begin to got broody I just isolate because Broodiness is only allowed when I feel it fit to allow them to be broody. Cause when one goes broody they all want to go broody.
  9. Raven81

    Raven81 Songster

    Nov 3, 2010
    Te Anau NZ
    my broody was so determined she wouldnt get off the nest to drink or eat & we are in the middle of summer so i would go out & either throw her out of the nest to eat etc or i would sit there with the bowls & let her drink & feed while sitting. she would even scream at me if i went to take away the water if she hadnt finished drinking. was so funny [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  10. scoopy82

    scoopy82 Songster

    Dec 19, 2010
    Victoria - Australia!
    Will they stop being broodie if the eggs hatch and they have chicks to look after?
    And if a hen has been sitting on eggs and they fail to hatch - would it be wrong to put more fertile eggs under her and try again? Provided she is still looking after herself and is holding reasonable weight?
    Disclaimer: I am just starting out in this so have no idea, thats why I am asking before I do anything.

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