Cochin pullet won't come out of nest box

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by weechicks, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. weechicks

    weechicks New Egg

    Mar 2, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I have a six and a half month pullet who has been listless for the past couple of days. She stayed in the nest box for far longer than the other girls (much to their displeasure) for a few days, but now she won't come out at all. She pecked me when I reached in to check for injuries, the first time she's ever been aggressive at all. It's nighttime now, so I don't want to hassle her too much; I can't take her to a vet until tomorrow morning or afternoon.

    Just a visual review of her (not being any type of expert) I don't see any evidence of pecking by the other three hens. I tried the best I could to search for injuries without stressing her out too much.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.

    Cochin, 6.5 months, don't know her weight.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.

    Refuses to come out of the nest box; has been there all day, into the night. I think it's too early for a girl like her to be broody, right? Even thought she doesn't come out of the nest box, she's still laying eggs, but not in the box. I keep finding her eggs in the run.

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    Nothing that my inexperienced eyes can find...

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

    She's the low man on the pole, but I haven't seen any problems between the girls.

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

    I haven't seen her eat much, but that may be me, not her.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

    She pooped a very runny poop on me a couple of days ago.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

    No treatment.

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

    I suppose that I need reassurance, diagnosis possibilities, and moral support.

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use

    Four hens live in a 6 x 8 coop, made out of pine, and recycled materials. The bedding is a combination of leaf litter, pine shavings, straw. I use DE in the coop and run. The run is under a long grove of bamboo, which is filled with the leaves that fall from the bamboo stalks. The nest box has some timothy hay in it, and some shavings.

    Gigi is a sweet, sweet girl. I know I haven't provided much in the way of symptoms, but obviously SOMETHING is wrong, and any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.
  2. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    She may be young, but since she is a cochin I would bet my bottom dollar that she is broody. Because she is young, she hasn't "got it" that you lay your eggs in the box and then sit on them.

    Sounds like she even had a broody poop! If you don't want her to brood, you are going to have to block her access to the nesting box.

    ETA: If you only have one nesting box for all the girls, that may be a problem. I'd probably add 1 or 2 more.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I agree with oldtimegator. It does sound like she is broody. She seems young to be broody, but one of my hens also became broody shortly after she laid her first egg. So it is possible.

    My girls tend to lay eggs for three to four days after they start showing signs of broodiness. Signs of broodiness: Staying in the nest all day long, if you go near them, they puff their feathers up and make strange sounds, growls, shrieks, they all sound different, but it's always a crazy sound. If you take them out of the nest, they will lay on the ground where you put them, and throw straw, or whatever is near them onto their backs. When they do get up and walk around, they make a slow clucking sound as they walk. And of course, they try to go right back to the nest.

    And I also agree that you need more nestboxes. Broody hens hog up the nestboxes and create a problem with the other hens. Around here, the other ladies don't want to mess with a broody hen!

    So, put on some gloves and get her out of that box. See what she does. Hopefully she's just broody and their is nothing really wrong with her.
  4. newnanchic

    newnanchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2008
    Newnan, Georgia
    She may have an egg or two under her that one of your other hens laid !!!!
  5. dixieschicks

    dixieschicks Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2007
    I hope and have to agree that it is broody!

    I have 8 cochins, bantys and standards and I have been "fighting" them on the broody mood all summer!

    On the good side, if you ever wanna hatch an egg under a hen, cochins make the best momma's.

    Its true, look under her for eggs. I have caught my banty cochins rolling an egg clear across the coop floor just to get it "in her spot" and sit on it!

    Good Luck
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Quote:Check her belly and see if its naked if so then yeppers ya got a broody on your hands. My experience with cochins i have noticed that they are stubborn when it comes to being broody. My black cochin sat on an empty nest for months on end before she finally snapped out of it. I had to pick her out of the nesting box and force her to eat and drink or she wouldn't of bothered to do so.
  7. weechicks

    weechicks New Egg

    Mar 2, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Man, thanks all! I suspected broodiness, but being completely new to the chicken game, thought that I must be crazy. She's so young, and still a little daffy about the egg-laying (we used to find her eggs all over the place, but now she's pleasantly eccentric enough to sit in the nest box and lay in the run) that I didn't think it was possibly broodiness. I knew that Cochins had a broody side, but WOW!

    Now I'm going to have to break the broody, as it were? I've read that scooping them out of the nest and carrying them around for a while works--any other pointers (best left on the behavior thread, but we're here, so maybe.....)

    Anyway, I love this little hen and was so sad that she might be ill. A little broodiness is a much better prognosis. Thanks all!
  8. weechicks

    weechicks New Egg

    Mar 2, 2008
    Portland, OR

    I keep chucking Gigi out of the nest, but she's intractable. I even keep her out of the coop/run area, but as soon as I let her back in, she's marching that fluffy butt right back to where she was. I suspect she'll be a tough nut to crack: docile but determined.

    As soon as the consensus was "Broody" and not "Dying" I rushed to make another nest box. To no avail: Gigi sat back in the box, Lola sat on top of her, the second box goes unused. But at least there IS a second box now, and they don't HAVE to sit on top of each other, even if they choose to.

    Now for more chicken-chucking. Thanks for your help, and sorry I'm such a dope. It all makes so much sense now that I know what I'm looking at.
  9. Bammony

    Bammony Red-dress-less

    Aug 15, 2008
    Salina, Utah
    Ur so funny! U need to start a broody blog for us all about ur hen! Where a pic???[​IMG]
  10. EngieKisses

    EngieKisses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2008
    Collinsville, Oklahoma
    The broodiness is exactly why I wanted cochins. They are the natural incubator, lol.

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