Hen hasn't moved.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by syringa, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. syringa

    syringa New Egg

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    Jan 12, 2017
    I have a hen who has been sitting in a nesting box for 2 days with only a plastic egg underneath her. It appears she hasn't moved. She is facing the back of the box. Wouldn't take corn from my hand. Is she being broody or not feeling well?
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey sryinga Welcome to BYC!

    That is a tough call without more information.

    How old is she?
    What breed?
    What is your current climate? Are you in winter or summer?

    A broody hen on the nest will usually puff up in a threatening manner or even peck you. If you put an egg in front of her on the nest she will usually use her beak to roll it under her and snuggle onto it.

    A broody hen will usually get up one or two times a day for something to eat and drink, stretch her legs, drop her huge broody poop and then return to the nest. She may be doing this but you have not seen her?

    However, if she is sick, she would probably be lethargic and not protective of the nest and not really interested in an egg. She could be egg bound.

    Does she appear to be straining at all?

    Is she doing anything else out of the ordinary that might help us determine if she is broody or unwell?
     
  3. syringa

    syringa New Egg

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    Jan 12, 2017
    Thank you Teila. She is about 9 months old, Golden Partridge Brahma. We are in winter & temps have been steadily below freezing. She doesn't seem protective of the nest, rather unresponsive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey syringa

    I am not personally familiar with Brahma’s but believe that they are a breed that can go broody.

    While it is not unheard of for hens to go broody in freezing temps, it is not the norm. I have had hens go broody at 9 months of age.

    With what you have told me, I am swaying more towards her being unwell and not broody. However, as to what is ailing her, I am not sure.

    What does she do if you take her off the nest and put her on the coop floor or ground?
     
  5. syringa

    syringa New Egg

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    Jan 12, 2017
    She went straight to eating when I put her on the coop floor. I'm puzzled. Will just continue to watch her I guess. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
    Could be she's not feeling well....
    or is hiding from bullies
    or is molting
    or is cold.

    I've had a few molting pullets spending time in the nests on particularly cold days,
    when everyone is 'trapped' in coop because of terrible weather,
    so partially molting discomfort and cabin fever.

    Just keep an eye on her.
    When I have an inactive bird I try to get them moving by spreading some scratch so I can observe their mobility.
     
  7. syringa

    syringa New Egg

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    Jan 12, 2017
    Thanks aart, the poor girls are pretty cooped up. They have a small covered area outside but it has been below freezing all day every day & they have been staying inside a lot. I'm looking forward to spring so they can get back to roaming & foraging.
     

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