Heavy Breathing Broody


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 20, 2014
Hi all,
We have a mama that hatched a few eggs last night and today. It is our first time and we are very excited, paranoid, and sleepless! When we go in the coop, she seems to have her beak open and breathing from it. I think she is just nervous and stressed due to the chicks and other hens, but I wanted to know if it is something more serious. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Thanks :)
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Congratulations on your successful broody hatch! Your hen could just be stressed, is she separated from the other hens so they can't bother her or the chicks? What is the temperature in your coop where she is, could she be overheating? Does she have water really close by she can get to? You might try offering her some or putting it close enough she can reach.
Thanks for the reply! Our high today was 75degrees, so it wasn't too hot... she does have water within reach and does seem to drink. She also eats out of our hand or dish when we bring it nearby. She is in the coop with the other girls- we were hoping they'd be able get along with her as their guardian. She is staying inside the nesting box with them. A couple chicks started venturing out today which makes me extremely nervous but, from what I've read, it is better than introducing them when they are older. They don't go far, and they rush back under her whenever the other chickens come around to snoop.
I am thinking it is probably a nervous mama issue. I will continue to watch her... and pray!
Have a great night!
Usually the mama escorts the chicks outside and watches over them. I wonder if she has a fever and doesn't feel up to it. Has she finished her hatch or is she still sitting on eggs?. Others in the flock may attack her chicks when she isn't there protecting them.
Unfortunately she is still sitting on ONE egg. Most likely a dud. I will candle tonight and toss if I need to. Maybe that will encourage her to be happy with the 3 she did hatch and be able to move forward?

Welcome to BYC!

Sounds like she is stressed. I would candle that egg to see if it is going to hatch or not and get it out of there if not. She needs to hang out with her babies and it is possible she is stressing about this last egg. At least this would be my thinking.

Keep us posted!
I think you are exactly right! I came home yesterday and she was off her nest. Her three little rambunctious chicks are keeping her plenty busy in the coop. I was able to grab the "dud" egg. There was nothing happening inside it, so mama knew best! She seems much happier now, and is doing a great job wrangling them. My next concern is the other hens, who seem to leave them pretty well alone. Mama is doing a great job protecting them. I hope she will keep them inside the coop for a while, but she does have access outside and I guess will decide when that's okay too. :) Thanks for your help!

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