Could this be broody behavior? Need some advice please!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Astrid, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,
    I'm worried about one of my hens. We only have for (2 buff orps and two barred rocks) and one of the buffs is acting strangely. She's in the nesting box and won't come out for treats, etc. She seems to have lost weight, and though she can stand, she seems to prefer not to. I put her on the floor of the coop and she just hops up into a nesting box again. When I hold her, she seems to have much less muscle tone in her legs than the others do; usually they push against my hand; this one just kind of sits down. Unusual behavior for her. I got her to eat about 1/2 of a a scrambled egg, and she had a few sips of water, but like I said, she seems thin to me.

    After her drink of water she let fly with a load of really wet, greenish poo; I"m not up on my poo identifications yet so I don't know if that's bad or not.

    No other symptoms....comb looks good, feathers are not all fluffed out. There was an egg in the box she was in; not sure if it was hers or not. We've only had hens since the summer so I'm not sure I know what broody behavior is. Please advise, I"m worried about my girl!

    Astrid
     
  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Astrid, all of it sounds broody. I'm not sure of the poo report though, since I don't really pay attention to my girls poo.

    When my young pullet went broody, besides hogging the nestbox, she fluffed up her feathers, acted extremely crotchedy when I reached under her for eggs, and made a low, growly noise, not a usual conversational clucking.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She didn't seem grouchy; just like she'd rather be left alone. I"m worried about weight loss, though. She does seem to have some appetite; she ate egg out of my hand.

    If she's broody, is it okay to just let her do her thing? Or should I try and "snap her out of it" by putting her in a dog crate, etc. as I've read on past boards?
     
  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    I tried the ice-pack under her belly for a few hours, but it was real cold out and didn't want to give her a permanent chill. I also tried tossing her off the nest whenever we found her there (all the time!). And also tried putting her in a cat carrier and bringing her indoors for a change of scenery.

    Nothing worked, until something clicked off in her tiny brain on day 18. (21 days being the magical number but I've heard of other people's broodies going longer.) Now she's back to her delightful self, with no help from us.
     
  5. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    did she lose weight? I'm most worried about her losing weight and not being able to keep warm in our cold Connecticut winter.
    I'm so neurotic about these chickens!
     
  6. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Well, along with not paying attention to poo, I also didn't pay attention to weight. I tried feeling her chest area, and it seemed bony. But since I hadn't done that before she went broody, I didn't have a baseline to compare it to. (Bad chicken mama)

    If you're worried, give her "room service". That's what I did. When the other girls were getting treats in the run, I went to her box and hand-fed her grapes, mealworms and the scratch mixture. Even though she stayed grumpy, she seemed to appreciate it.
     
  7. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hand fed her some egg, and she seemed to enjoy that. I'll try and ply her with other treats later.

    I'm such a nervous nellie about this chicken-keeping thing! [​IMG]
     
  8. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    Astrid, don't worry. Your girls will come through just fine. Just keep an eye on them. Whenever you go out there, observe them, and soon you'll develop an instinct about when something might be seriously wrong, not just part of regular chicken lives. But I'll bet with your care, nothing will go wrong.
     
  9. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Buff! Your help has been so reassuring! I'm really a dog person, so I'm surprising myself with how attached I"ve gotten to these hens!

    Astrid
     
  10. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2008
    I found this on another site about laying eggs, thought it might help

    Breaking Broodies


    When we remove the eggs, after they lay them,the hen supposes: "There are not yet enough," and continues to lay. The hens of some breeds will get broody anyway after some time. This condition can be cured by placing the hen in a "broody pen". This is a small cage, hung in the hen house. The cooling of the bottom, the swinging movements, and the lack of eggs to sit on are said to cure this condition. The broodiness trait has been removed from most commercial laying breeds through selection. The modern laying hen has delegated her responsibility of hatching, raising, and educating chicks to humans. In nature, the poor creatures would soon become extinct.


    A little drastic but it's an idea. [​IMG]
     

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