First time broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PaintedDreams, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. PaintedDreams

    PaintedDreams Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2010
    Southern TN
    I have a little banny hen who is being broody for the first time. The problem is that her comb is pale and her feathers are dull. Just a few days ago my husband and I watched as she took a dust bath and was acting just fine. I don't know whether her condition now is due to being broody or not? Please help if you have any advice. I have dewormed her with Stongid T for the last 2 days. It is effective against hook and round worms. Also the weather is very hot and humid but all the other hens and roo are doing fine. They have a fan on them all day and fresh water every morning. Help please. It is my daughter's beloved pet!
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Pale colors on feathers due to exposure to sunlight so not a problem. Pale comb indicates stress. Laying eggs can be stressfull as can brooding. While brooding weight declines owing to reduced feeding opportunities and sometimes as with some of my hens, mosquito bites at night. I suspect weight decline and pale comb normal for brooding hen. If weight higher and comb redder hen might be inclined to re-nest before first batch complete which is not good for first batch.

    A couple things I do not like about broods reared late in season. Chicks reared late go into winter as immature and typically average a little smaller as adults. They also put on adults feathers under stressfull conditions which decreases feather quality. Also hens this time of year going into annual molt. Molting itself increases nutritional demands. I have taken to feeding such hens a little chick starter and mealworms to ensure adequate protein intake for feather development. Hens broody while molting tend to have poor new feathers come in with molt.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  3. beagletack

    beagletack Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2011
    Heart of Dixie
    I would say its just stress from the heat and broodiness .
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I agree that it's probably normal.

    But, I do have a couple who are too goofy to come off the nest for food and water every day. I make sure they do. I pull them off the nest, set them out on the ground and pat their little fannies till the trance breaks. Then they will eat, drink, poop, and run back to the nest. I like to give them a bit of food mixed with water. For some reason, mixing regular chicken food with water makes it a delicious treat, and they will eat more of it.

    That may not be the case with your girl, but it's something to keep an eye out for. Especially in this heat.
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I agree, I take my broodies off the nest and make them get moving at least twice a day, whether they have fertile eggs under them or not, just to increase their intake and get them some exercise. it also gives me a chance to spray the nest for mites/lice.
  6. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    Yes, broodies tend to look a little frazzled:


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