Extremely Broody Hen Losing weight

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickygrl, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. chickygrl

    chickygrl New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2010
    I am new to this forum, and I am excited to get to know everyone! We have 34 chickens, mixed kinds, however one of our Barred Rock hens has become compulsively broody! We do not have any roosters, she sits on everyone elses eggs. She has lost all the feathers on her breast, has lost weight. I take her out of the barn and she somehow finds a way back in. Any suggestions on this will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, you have a two real options...either let her brood some eggs and raise babies or don't. I don't have a rooster either, so when two of my girls went broody this spring I got them some fertile eggs to set and hatch their own chicks. This may not be so wise in your case since your hen has been broody for awhile and is getting weak, but then again, it may work. I leave food and water real close to my broodies at all times and hand feed them special treats every day to keep their energy up.

    The other option is breaking her of her broodiness. Some people have luck just throwing the hen off the nest and locking her out of any of the nesting boxes, though it sounds like you have one of those Be-Broody-At-All-Cost hens. In that case, a lot of people have luck putting the hen in a wire cage with just food and water (no bedding!!!) for 3-4 days. This seems to work best if you can actually suspend the cage in the air. The thought process being that by letting cool air circulate under her bum her broodiness hormones quit coursing through her veins.

    Hope this helps!

    ETA: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  3. chickygrl

    chickygrl New Egg

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    Thank you! My next question is then, what kind of cage? I can easily suspend it. I will try hand feeding her, her breast looks just awful from no feathers from laying all of the time and she is nowhere near as heavy as her other two sisters. She gets real low when you go to pick her up and makes a growling noise....i move her and she stays in that same position. Today my girls went out to collect eggs (weve noticed a pecking problem ugh!) and put her outside and closed off the nesting area, she has no choice but to be out with the others that are free range and i'll go see if she is being broody outside as well. Thanks for your help and suggestions!
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:Excellent advice, and [​IMG]
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:Pretty much any cage will work. No nesting material, just food and water. You can let her out daily, just make sure she can't get to any nestboxes.

    It sounds like she has been broody too long and needs to be "broken" of it, so she can recoup.
     
  6. chickygrl

    chickygrl New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2010
    The only wire cage I have is a dog kennel and I know that wont work lol! I have to go to the feed store, I will see if they have something and if not, I will stop at Tractor Supply. I will try and get her set up tonight and start this breaking process so her feathers will start to come back and she starts eating. Is there anything you would recommend I give her food wise to entice her to eat or that will help with her feather loss?
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Why won't a dog kennel work??? I wouldn't go buy something just for this.
    As for feed...give her extra protein to help w/feather regrowth. Salmon, sunflower seeds, scrambled egg, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  8. Darlasmum

    Darlasmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My BO was in the same hypnotized broody way. I tried every thing- but the cage finally broke her. I set it up un bricks so it was slightly elevated from the ground, gave her water and food, and 2 days later let her out- BROKEN!
     

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