Funky Chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickgirl55, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. chickgirl55

    chickgirl55 In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2007
    One of my Rhode Island Reds has been acting peculiarly for a few days. My chickens are free range, so they have nests outside- and this particular chicken had been in the nest all day. I walked over to her and she made a weird (Ba ha ha ha ha haaa) noise. I walked away and figured she might be having some egg-laying trouble. Well, she didn't show up that night when I was putting the other hens away and was still in the nest. I figured I'd leave her overnight ,gave her food and water- and left.
    The next morning when I was feeding the other hens she came out, I figured she was fine- and ignored it until... that night I was putting the other hens away, and she wasn't there. I checked the nest- sure enough the same weird noise. I left her overnight again with food and water and this morning, sure enough, she came running toward me while I was feeding the other hens. But, at the moment, she's in that darn nest again.

    Anybody had this happen before? What shoud I do? I also have a hen who's feathers on her back-tail area are gone and the area is pink-red-ish. It's been like this for a few weeks, and the feathers are beginning to grow back. But- what else can I do. I've been reading the threads here, but I'm still not sure.

    Thank You.
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Sounds like your hen is going broody! is the time to find some eggs to put under her!! That weird noise is her growling at you to 'stay away from my nest!' Does she have any eggs under her?

    If you want her to sit on some eggs for you, I'd recommend moving her to her own area where she can sit on the nest without the others distubing her and where she can be safe from any predation.

    If you DON'T want her to stay broody, then you'll have to try to break her - first, don't let any eggs accumulate under her. Remove her from the nest several times per day. Worst case you have to cage them in a small cage where there is nothing resembling a nest (wire bottom...) for a few days.

    The bare backed hen may be the victim of an especially amorous rooster (if you have a rooster), OR the victim of a feather eater/picker in your group. Alternately she may just be going through a molt and starting to regrow the feathers now.

    Just keep an eye that there isn't someone picking on her and eating the feathers as they come in. Sometimes you'll get a chicken who has a habit of doing that.

    Chronic feather picking can be a sign of protein deficiency too...

    Hope this helps! And WELCOME~!
  3. chickgirl55

    chickgirl55 In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2007
    Wow. Thanks! I'd heard of a chicken getting broody, but didn't know exactly what it meant. There aren't any eggs under her, I've been checking when she comes out.

    As for the 'pecked' chicken- I don't have a rooster, but it's possible another hen is picking on her. I'll watch extra closely.

    Thanks again for the help.

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