hen has lost all breast feathers in 48 hours

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by courtney, May 13, 2008.

  1. courtney

    courtney Hatching

    May 13, 2008
    my buff orpington hen has always liked to sit in her nesting box more than my other two hens. But in the last several days it has been hard to get her to come out at all. Yesterday my father lifted her out I didn't see if she ate or drank while she was out of the hen house, she quickly went back to her nesting box. This morning I went to check on her and when I lifted her from her box saw that all her feathers are missing on her brest and down to her legs, with a few still in but broken down to about a quarter inch. When I put her down she just sat as if on an egg and wouldn't move. I've had a recomendation to worm? Ring any bells? Help!
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Sounds like she is Broody. She is wanting to set on some eggs. I have several here and most have naked chests. They pull the feathers to line the nest. They will grow back later or when she molts.

    In most cases the hen is also fuzzing up at everyone, growling, and making a nice rythmic clucking sound(the momma cluck).

    Last edited: May 13, 2008
  3. Ese_N_Gracie

    Ese_N_Gracie Songster

    Feb 22, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Brooding with a capital BBB....they lose their chest feathers to get closer to the eggs.....I've read icecubes can be put in her nest to help her lose interest...but I haen't had to try it
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Watch your fingers...
  5. courtney

    courtney Hatching

    May 13, 2008
    thanks for the info. She dosn't seem to want to come out at all. How long is it normal for to go with out coming out to eat?
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Most will come out once a day, but some will skip a day. Many people will drag their broodies out by their wings and make them eat, drink, and poo so they don't starve themselves too badily. If you don't want her to sit on eggs, lock her out from the nest and cage her up and make her feel uncomfortable. But it can be hard to break.
  7. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    I had one that ripped her chest feathers out too, and she's a screaming banshee when you poke at her 'cause she thinks you're going to steal her eggs. Then she went and talked another of my girls into doing the same thing, so now I have two broodies!

    I'm going to have to drag out my suit of armor, complete with gloves and a face shield just to relocate them to a better location. [​IMG]

    If you don't have your eye on her 24/7 you'll be lucky to see when she sneaks off her nest to get a quick drink, bite to eat, and go potty.
  8. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but WHAT? Broody hens are mean? All 4 of mine have been angels! I've handled them like never before. They are not lap chickens at all, but I have held them, checked them all over for cooties, used the broody time to tame them... It's a good thing I didn't know about the scary broody thing or I never would have tried any of that!

    And by the way Courtney, it does sound like your hen is broody. Give her some fertile eggs if you can have more chickens. It's the coolest thing! I have two different hatches running around, and they're adorable!
  9. Godiva

    Godiva Songster

    May 17, 2007
    My hens pluck their breast feathers when they go broody. My silkie hen has to be taken off the nest once a day or she will not get off at all. My bantam cochin gets off once or twice a day on her own and has a quick drink, dust bath and some food then back on. My cochin was not mean but definitely more feisty than normal and the silkie the same.

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