Help! We suddenly have two big problems...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by live2shine, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. live2shine

    live2shine In the Brooder

    Hi everyone. Thanks for viewing my post. I could really use some help now. First of all, our 6 chickens are good layers and are about 6 months old now. I unfortunately happened to get a very loud bunch of girls, and because backyard hens are not legal here, this has seriously stressed us out so far...but, we are dedicated! Our neighbors have been nice, too. Now the chickens have quite a bit of property to themselves, with a large surface area of grass and dirt for finding bugs. That's issue #1: if anyone has advise for sometimes insanely noisy hens, I'd greatly appreciate it!

    The main issues and actual emergencies we're having are:
    1- I have one hen who was laying well then 2 weeks ago decided to sit in the next 24/7. I get her out a few times a day and she eats some grass or food then goes right back to her nest. I've fed her water with probiotic in it with a medicine dropper a few times now. She has stopped laying. I can't figure out if she's sick or a "broody" hen, as someone has told me. I don't know if any vets in the area are experienced with chickens, either.

    2- One of my hens suddenly started limping. He one claw is obviously injured. There is no visible wound on her, and I've palpated her entire limb to find a weak spot. I think she may have got it caught or something. I'm planning on waiting a week or so to see if it heals itself. Is there any possibility that this is a genetic issue (since I know so many of our modern chickens have been genetically altered to not be sad!)

    Thanks for any feedback!!!
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Sounds to me like your first hen is broody (wants to be a mommy!), and as for the one w/ the injured toe, she may heal up just fine. BTW, welcome to BYC. [​IMG]
  3. paddock36

    paddock36 Songster

    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    Sounds like you have a broody hen. She probably clucks a little louder if you get her off the nest and puffs her feathers up a bit too, and that is the reason she is not laying. You might be able to pen her up in a different area to break her broodiness or give her some fertile eggs to hatch.

    As far as the hen with the hurt foot. Are you sure it's not bumblefoot? Any swelling on her foot? Otherwise she may just be favoring her foot until it feels better.

    Also, as far as your noisy girls there are some breeds that are more quiet than others. I found Orphingtons to be a quiet type.
  4. adbayer

    adbayer In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2010
    i think she just wants to be a mama!!!! when my gal went broody, we ordered fertilized eggs off of ebay, and let her hatch them, and raise them.

    and as for the injured toe... i would watch her closely... and se if it gets better, worse, or stays.... not much help there, sorry!
  5. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    check for parasites.. this is the time of year and also.. Coccidiosis if she appears to be lethargic... If she has plucked herself she is broody.. If not... she is ill...
  6. adbayer

    adbayer In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2010
    my broody never plucked herself....
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh, I'm pretty sure you have yourself a broody hen. And I think you can just watch that toe on the other chicken, it will probably heal over time... but if not, then you need to treat it. Neosporin withOUT the added "pain killers." Straight antibiotic.

    Broody hens puff up, make really nasty "chittering" noises, won't leave the nest except to take a potty break and grab some food and water.

    I put feed and water right next to her in the nest.... of course, I have a rooster to fertilize the eggs.
  8. adbayer

    adbayer In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2010
    oooh my broody was also very cranky (not that she was a friendly bird to start with [​IMG] ) she did NOT want you coming near her nest!
  9. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    Carmichael, CA
    the hen is broody, if you dont want to deal with egg hatching, buy a couple 1 day old chicks, put them with her at dusk and marvel at her skills, i have a Belgian D'Uccle, she is nearly always broody, she is just 1 and has been broody twice already, each time i buy one or two chicks and watch her do her thing, right now she is teaching the babies to roost high in the coop, away from the grumpy RIR hens!

    As for the injured foot, i have nursed my bantam back from a broken leg with a splint made of tooth picks and some medical tape (the Mrs is a nurse so she helped) You can easily splint the toe, she will hobble, leave it on there for a few days and check it in 3 or 4 days and replace the tape.

    I have NEVER seen my broody hens pluck themselves, also mine have been very plesant broodies, she just sits there, keeping the other chickens eggs warm until i give her babies, she is then happy as larry!
  10. live2shine

    live2shine In the Brooder

    Thanks for the replies! It does sound like she's broody, but I have to get her up to eat! She does chatter like crazy then puff out and look at me with an evil eye every time. So broody hens won't lay eggs? Will she always be like this, or is this a phase? The problem for me is that I'd have to take quite a drive to find some baby chicks...we only get them locally at Easter. If I found someone to take the babies, I'd get them for a week or so if it would change her attitude! I do worry that she's sick because she won't get up to eat on her own, but she eats well when I get her up. I'll sit there for a while and she'll fill herself up then look at me for a second and make a mad dash for her nest again. I worry, but I can't help but marvel at the stubborn personality in this thing! None of my other chickens have become sick at all. They have ample freedom on a relatively big yard with fresh water every day. Are there any other symptoms I'd look for for parasites, etc. Again, I'm in a little bit of a pickle because they aren't legal yet and I'm not sure what vet I could take her to. I'll ask around to see if there is a good chicken vet locally. I used to have ferrets (also illegal) and our vet happily cared for them.

    Wow, raising chickens is quite a learning experience! I'll keep you updated on the other one's foot.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by