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Egg Bound or something more?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by teria, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. teria

    teria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2015
    Salem Utah
    One of my Salmon Faverolles is acting very strangely.. She spent all day in a nesting box, and has not laid an egg. Everybody else has been in, laid, and back out but she just stayed. At one point, when the other Faverolle persisted in looking in on her she kind of freaked out and popped out of the box all ruffled feathers and clucking. She left the coop and went out into the yard but stayed ruffled up. She kept on clucking repeatedly and kind of scratched around in the dirt, but, would alternate between that and picking at her feathers near her tail. Then she started picking fights with the other chickens who weren't doing anything. She dropped her wings and acted like a rooster a few times, too, growling at one of the other hens.

    We don't have a rooster, and she is only eight months old. She has been laying for a few months now, smallish eggs, because she is a new egg layer. She kept going back into her nesting box, and I would leave her be except to bring her out to have something to eat and get some water in her, which she did on her own really well, so, her appetite isn't off. It's her behavior. If I hadn't brought her out, she would have stayed in that box all day with no food or water. She had a small bowel movement so she is passing something, but, I know that doesn't eliminate the possibility that she has an egg stuck in there. She freaks out when I carry her. She has never liked to be held, but, she hasn't freaked out before, just complained.

    I feed my hens layer crumbles, and have oyster shell available for them, but, yesterday we cleaned out the coop and the oyster shell got a little lost in the process, so, she hasn't had any of that for about 24 hours. I dont know how much layer feed she eats, but, when she was out she had a little bit on her own. She had some black oil sunflower seeds and scratch grains, and the oyster shell was there so hopefully some of that, too.

    I also whitewashed some of the coop yesterday, and I can still smell the lime a bit inside. So, that worries me. I've never whitewashed before, so, I followed the advice on this and several other boards in how to do it,but, it still makes me worry.
     
  2. HI chicks

    HI chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2016
    Waimea Hawaii
    With your description I would say she sounds like she's trying to go broody. You described exactly what my girls act like when their broody. Even without a rooster and only one egg in the nest they will still go broody it their hormones tell them too. I had one hen go broody so many times I started feeling bad and got her a rooster. Is she trying to stay in at night?
     
  3. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Your hen is not sick - she is broody! Faverolles are a semi-broody breed, and often individuals who brood at such a young age as 8 months will be quite broody over the rest of their lifetime. Now you have a choice between breaking her of her broodiness or allowing her to raise a few chicks. If you choose to break her, you will want to do so in a cage free from bedding, and preferably wire so that an air current can reach her belly and chill it. Or, if you want to add to your flock, you can choose to get a few young (1-3 day old) chicks for her to adopt, or buy fertile eggs for her to incubate. If you go with fertile eggs you'd want to add them soon, if you choose chicks you will want to wait until the hen has been broody for a few weeks so you can be sure she is broody, and she believes the timing is right.
     
  4. teria

    teria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2015
    Salem Utah
    Broody?!! I never would have guessed that one. Well I'm relieved she isn't sock. So I have a couple chicks. How old is too old?
     
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    I wouldn't try to give her any chicks older than 3-4 days. They don't bond well with the hen.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. teria

    teria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2015
    Salem Utah
    That became pretty apparent when the two chicks I have in the coop (outdoor brooding) that are a couple of weeks old barely managed to escape a peck or two from her. She was clearly not going to take them in, and they didn't really want her to. The other two chicks that are still too small for my outdoor brooder, they are a week old, were almost candidates, and she almost thought about taking them in. She let them sit under her wings and snuggle, but, when one of them moved forward she pecked at it, and not just to preen it. So, in the absence of my getting any more chicks, which was a serious temptation, I opted to just let her get through this stage and hopefully it won't last too long or be too frequent. She's a bit annoying to the other girls because she wants the nesting box they all seem to prefer. I have to pull her out regularly and shut the coop entrance to make her stay out long enough to get something to eat and drink and to give someone else a chance at the box.

    I have four other options for them, but, that one is the fave.
     

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