Constantly clucking and fluffed up, can't find diagnosis!


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 25, 2011
Hello everybody,
I'm new to the board and have joined because this is my first year with chickens and am having my first real problem. I have one plymouth rock hen who I've noticed is acting a little strange over the last two days - she's almost always got her feathers fluffed up on end and her tail feathers straight up in the air - every once and a while she sort of opens her wings up like a turkey. She's making a pretty consistent clucking sound. Typically my chickens (especially the rocks) run up to greet me when I enter the run, but this hen has not been doing that.

I thought at first she might be broody (and the rooster seems to prefer her, so she seems annoyed). But, shes not spending much time on any particular nest, she's usually wandering around.

Then, I thought she might be eggbound because she does have some messy poo around her vent. But she isnt lethargic (other than not greeting me), and I couldnt feel a lump at all.

Lastly - I found a very soft shelled egg this morning, actually cracked open. I dont know if this was her egg or not, but I thought I'd mention it in case it helps. I've heard hens can lay early after a thunderstorm and we did have the biggest storm of the season last night so maybe that's all the soft egg was (all of the eggs from my 15 other hens have normal shells).

Does anybody have any ideas?

When i found that my hen was egg bound, she was fluffed up, but was very quiet and not moving around much (she was pretty sick by that time). Before my other hen went into full on broody mode, she was fluffed like a turkey and doing this steady "bok bok bok bok" as she moved around the coop and run, rather than her usual friendly chirping and chattering. Then one day she was on a nest and wouldn't get off! Your hen sounds broody to me.

Does your hen appear to be straining/struggling to lay? Hopping on/off the nest box?
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Yeah, broody, have fun with that! She'll probably hit the nest any second now!
My buff orp does that all the time when she's broody, when she's thinking about being broody, after she's broody.....
Thanks Everyone!

Thats what I suspected! I guess my next question would be:

Is it too late in the year to let her raise her babes? I live in central NM, the first freeze hits around mid-October.

I know I should remove her from the other hens, but should I move the rooster with her so the eggs are fertile or should I wait until she has a clutch of eggs and then move only her?
Broody! that's what my Australorp and my Plymouth do for 2 or 3 days before hitting the nest for good! I think it is hilarious! enjoy! even my dogs love watching them!

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