Do hens lose their feathers when they're broody?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bawkbawkbawk, May 18, 2011.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been out of town a few weeks. Our housesitter called and said my BO wasn't leaving the coop. I thought she might have gone broody but have never experienced it before so I had her take Hope to the vet, who confirmed broodiness. During the rest of our trip, our housesitter has brought Hope out of the coop each day and she does walk around, eat and drink, but prefers to return to the nest box, where she is also sleeping.

    I returned home last night and when I saw Hope this morning I realized she's missing a large patch of feathers from her breast, similar to when she was molting in the fall.

    Is this due to stress from being broody? Or is something else going on?

    My other hen, an EE, has largely stopped laying the past few weeks, laying very small (quail-sized) eggs without yolks or malformed eggs. She is otherwise behaving normally.

    Any thoughts on what's going on?

    I'm getting four baby chicks in a month and am hoping the two girls will want to be "moms" to them then. In the meantime, I'd like to know how worried I should be...

  2. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    that is what is called a brood patch. when hens brood, they pluck the feathers from thier breasts and that area fills up with a jellylike liquid. the loose, soft skin is warmer than feathers and drapes around the eggs to create a warm, humid space that is ideal for incubation. the other hen who is laying the small eggs, known as wind eggs, is probably okay as well. is she a young pullet or a nearly spent hen? this it a natural occurence that is only worrysome if it persists.
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  3. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    perfectly normal. Time for some fertile eggs!
  4. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    That is also the new chick's favorite place to hide and warm up in. That, and under the wings.
  5. aabbott

    aabbott Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 30, 2011
    I have a 1.5-2 yr old Silver laced wyandotte who also has a patch like this and has become somewhat broody- so now her bare belly isnt bothering me quite so much as her standing like a penguin when I got home yesterday. My hubby and I brought her into the house last night and treated her for a blocked crop (olive oil and water) both last night and today- and she seems a bit better. Her poops are normal, but when she stands, she has one foot that seems to slide easily on the newspaper instead of being able to stand. She is in no pain and seems to be eating and drinking fine. I have given her stress ease in her water and will continue that, but is her leg/ foot more of a concern that what I know? She isnt in any pain, and I am considering giving her a warm bath and massage her belly incase there is an egg stuck- but can there be an egg stuck and she still be able to go to the bathroom? We have had chicks for about 2 yrs adn have never had a problem.... thanks in advance-
  6. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you thank you thank you. I have been so worried! [​IMG]

    I hauled her off the nest twice today and both times she came out of her trance and walked around and ate and drank, then went right back in there. I've put obstacles in the two nesting coves to keep her out of them but she has now parked herself in front of them. Determined she is!

    My chicks arrive June 15. Bad timing!

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