HELP! Malnourished Broody. Should I Separate the Chicks from the Broody?

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
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Northern Maine
My broody hen has stopped eating. Even before the eggs hatched she would never leave the nesting box and barely ate anything. I was hoping that after her eggs hatched that she would start to eat but no, she hasn't been eating anything at all. She just gives food to the chicks. I have been checking her crop and it has nothing in it and she stopped pooping. I need help! Should I separate the chicks from the mom? She also has been stepping on them and kicking them by mistake.
 
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50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
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Please check your broody tonight for lice or mites.
Does she have we access to the ground so she can dust bathe?
When you see her stepping on the chicks is it during a time when you are close or sticking your hands in her pen? Many broodys become highly aggitated to protect their chicks from any harm or threat.
My more skittish hens will step on chicks when i am there to add food and water. I just do what is necessary and move away and observe from a distance if i must.
Show us a picture of your hen, it may help us diagnose what is wrong
 

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
2,073
5,671
426
Northern Maine
Please check your broody tonight for lice or mites.
Does she have we access to the ground so she can dust bathe?
When you see her stepping on the chicks is it during a time when you are close or sticking your hands in her pen? Many broodys become highly aggitated to protect their chicks from any harm or threat.
My more skittish hens will step on chicks when i am there to add food and water. I just do what is necessary and move away and observe from a distance if i must.
Show us a picture of your hen, it may help us diagnose what is wrong
She has no lice or mite, I have checked.
She does have access to ground to dust bathe but she never leaves the nesting box before the chicks hatched and now doesn't bring the chicks out of the coop.
She just steps on them, I don't bother her, I can be yards away and she would accidentally step on them.

(sorry for the bad picture)
1st and 2nd picture is her keel bone and it is sticking out about an inch away from the chest.
3rd Is her comb
Photo on 6-1-20 at 3.54 PM.jpg

Photo on 6-1-20 at 3.54 PM #2.jpg


Photo on 6-1-20 at 3.55 PM.jpg
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 9, 2014
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Have you offered your hen some scrambled eggs and other favorite foods?

How long was she broody for -- three weeks and hatch, or was she broody for some period of time before getting fertile eggs?
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
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Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
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Well most broody's do loose weight and condition while brooding.
the best food for her would be that chick crumble you are feeding the chicks.
Hopefully she is eating some of it when you aren't looking. As long as she is walking them around and showing them their food, I think she will be ok. Dont take her chicks away. Try throwing a couple fistfuls of grass in the pen. If she shows interest and takes the chicks over and starts Scratching through it for bugs, that would tell me she is alert and interested in showing her babies new stuff.
The weight will come back on gradually.
 

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
2,073
5,671
426
Northern Maine
Have you offered your hen some scrambled eggs and other favorite foods?

How long was she broody for -- three weeks and hatch, or was she broody for some period of time before getting fertile eggs?
I do give her a bunch of scrambled eggs and a bit of iceberg lettuce as a treat, she loves this, but she hasn't been eating it. In all from the first day to today is around 26 days. And she was acting really weird and squatty before the chicks for about a month before she became officially broody.
 

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
2,073
5,671
426
Northern Maine
Well most broody's do loose weight and condition while brooding.
the best food for her would be that chick crumble you are feeding the chicks.
Hopefully she is eating some of it when you aren't looking. As long as she is walking them around and showing them their food, I think she will be ok. Dont take her chicks away. Try throwing a couple fistfuls of grass in the pen. If she shows interest and takes the chicks over and starts Scratching through it for bugs, that would tell me she is alert and interested in showing her babies new stuff.
The weight will come back on gradually.
Ok. I really don't want to take her chicks away but if worse comes to worst I will for the best of both. I heard about some broodies dying and their babies freezing to death so it has been making me panicky. Let's hope that she will start eating soon and I will give her some grass tomorrow, thanks.
Hopefully, she will get some weight soon. :fl
 

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