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Growling, broody? pullet with no eggs.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nathan972, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Nathan972

    Nathan972 New Egg

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    I have a buff Orpington who is about 26-27 weeks old, and has been laying since 23 weeks.

    A few weeks ago at around 1pm I went out to clean the coop and didn't realize she was inside in a nesting box. I was making a lot of noise, so i figured I startled her. she growled at me, and wouldn't leave the nesting box all day. Once the sun went down I went to check on her, and she still hadn't moved. I picked her up and put her on the roosting bars. She had not laid an egg. The next day I noticed she was growling at noises (I hadn't heard her growl before this incident). She also did not lay an egg that day. Finally after 2 days without an egg she laid a slightly deformed egg (It was fine inside).

    I was out of town last week, and my wife Jessica was taking care of the chickens. 3 days ago she noticed the same pullet camping out in the nesting box. The next morning when Jessica checked on them, the Orpington had not moved from the nesting box. Jessica picked her up to make sure she was warm. She was warm, but had not laid and remained in the nesting box until I checked on her this morning. When I opened the coop she growled, and fluffed up (also have not seen her fluff up for extended periods of time) I picked her up, tried to calm her and get her to eat. She was very hungry. At that point (all at once) she pooped about as much as a 50lb dog would poop.

    I had to go to work after that, and I returned around noon to check on her, and she had plopped herself right back into the nesting box showing the same behavior.

    Her comb is bright red, and her vent was clean.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Not sure if this is normal behavior or not. These are our first chickens. 2 Rhode Island reds 1 Easter egger 1 Cochin and 1 Orpington. Of the 5 only the Orp is laying, and all are roughly the same age.

    Thanks!

    --- May be worth mentioning that one of the eggs she laid while I was out of town was normal size, but abnormally shaped and pretty speckled. She has only given us one other slightly speckled egg before.
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Nathan972 Welcome to BYC!

    She definitely sounds broody to me.

    During the early stages of their broodiness my gals will lay one or maybe two 'extra' eggs and then stop altogether.

    Are you sure no-one else is laying? The fact that she has been broody for maybe a week or so means that she probably should have stopped laying but that will not stop her stealing eggs from another nest box or chicken.

    I have seen a broody hen tuck an egg under her wing and carry it to the nest and another one rolled an egg from one nest box to the other. This may also explain the slightly deformed egg as it could have come from a new layer. It would also explain the speckled egg .. not hers [​IMG]
     
  3. Nathan972

    Nathan972 New Egg

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    It's a possibility. She isn't actually laying on any eggs, though. Her typical routine after laying is to start squawking and strutting around the run when she has finished her business. Also, if even just 1 more of our girls were laying I would have expected at least 1 egg in the last 3 days.

    Should I try to break this behavior? When i pick her up and put her by the feeder she eats like crazy, drinks and poops. Or do you think the best thing to do is give her privacy?
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Nathan972 IF she is broody, if you do not want to give her fertile eggs to hatch, it is definitely recommended to try and break her of the broodiness for a couple of reasons:

    1. If left broody, she could try and sit on the nest for weeks on end which results in lack of condition and in some cases, death from starvation. Also, a broody on the nest is an invitation to mites and/or lice as she is a nice, warm, stationary home for them.

    2. The sooner she is broken, the sooner she will return to laying eggs.

    There is a great deal of information on breaking a broody. The method I use is the broody breaker crate which works with my gals:

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/05/broody-breaker-when-hens-mood-to-hatch.html

    She does not need eggs to be broody .. my gals will sit on a feather in the nest for weeks in an attempt to hatch it [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Nathan972

    Nathan972 New Egg

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    Thanks a ton, That article explained a lot.

    I've got her in a dog crate in the garage now... shes not happy, but shes eating, drinking and pooping now :)
     
  6. Nathan972

    Nathan972 New Egg

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    She snapped out of it today, thanks for all of your help!
     
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    [​IMG]
     

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