Constipated, failing broody

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by brandywine, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    The last of my buff orps to go broody this year is having ... complications.

    First, I've had to cull most of the eggs, and two broke on their own. One of those fouled the nest, and I suspect it was this that spoiled the other eggs. She was down to five (I started her on 14) yesterday, and this morning I found that another one had broken. It appears that (a) I should have culled that one, too, as it was not developed (hatch due this Saturday); (b) she ate the contents; (c) she didn't deliberately break it -- her leg is covered in dry yolk. Fortunately the remaining four eggs are clean.

    Second, she's constipated. Has been for 3-4 days. I'm managing my broodies pretty rigidly now -- keeping the nests in large dog crates, and bodily removing each broody for eating/drinking/sunning/pooping time in a fenced run each afternoon. For the past several days, she has failed to produce the usual giant smelly broody dump, even if out for a half-hour. Today I watched her the whole time, and she produced several tiny, wet excreta with much effort.

    She's eating and drinking. Seems to crave greens, so I'm making sure she has them.


    Because of the Incredible Shrinking Clutch, I'm working on getting some day-olds to slip under her this week.

    This hen has brooded at least once before. I didn't keep great records last year, just banded each broody with a blue band. She may have been the one who screwed up incubating and raised a grafted brood last year, too. This year I'm being more careful about ID'ing each individual hen and what her success is. (Sorry, all buff orps look alike.)
  2. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I would think that the most likely reason for her constipation is that she has not been eating or drinking a lot (apart from a rotten egg).Give her the greens she wants, they will probably sort her bowels out.

    When she leaves the coop it may be helpful to clean any bits of old egg contents off her. If she feels generally better she may eat better etc.

    Good Luck for the (diminished) hatch.

  3. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster 10 Years

    May 25, 2008
    Maybe a bit of unflavored yogurt would be helpful since it's yummy & moist plus the probiotics in it may help her digestive system get sorted out.
    Best wishes with your hen and nursery. [​IMG]

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