hen lying down and losing feathers and weight

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenshiha, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. chickenshiha

    chickenshiha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2014
    palestine
    My mixed breed hen doesn't seem to be good for 3 days she has been lying down from the first day I got her but she was very active and lays eggs but now 5 months past and she is lying more and she lost some feathers on her neck but it got back but under her stomach she has no feathers or lost a lot, she did eat today and I gave her some vitamins and electrolyte water she is still alert as ever and when I approach her she runs away fast. Last night I saw her sitting in a box that they don't lay in and it has no bedding I just put it there two days ago and she has been sleeping there at night,but she never liked to roost from the start so that might be alright. I also treated them for mites 3 days ago and all my hens take sand baths in morning and I cleaned and sprayed the coop and perches and boxes. What could she have
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Sounds a lot like broodiness. Does she get very angry and puff up when you try to touch her? Is most of the feather loss occurring on her breast? Hens who are broody wish to hatch eggs and raise chicks and so they will pluck their breast feathers and sit a nest all day, usually losing some weight in the process.
     
  3. chickenshiha

    chickenshiha Chillin' With My Peeps

    389
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    86
    Apr 19, 2014
    palestine
    thank you for replying, she starts to make noise when I'm near her but when I try to touch her she runs away, but I had a hen do this and was a great mother, and her breasts feathers are good it's only her stomach
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Yep, definitely sounds like broodiness. She'll give up in two to four weeks, or you can break her of broodiness by placing her in a wire cage for a week or so. Alternatively, if you wish to add to your flock, you can separate her and give her some fertile eggs or chicks to raise.
     
  5. chickenshiha

    chickenshiha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2014
    palestine
    but you say she will give up on in 2 weeks, but anyway I would love some chicks
     
  6. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Two to four weeks. Two weeks is definitely low-end, average is three, and four isn't uncommon. It takes three weeks to incubate eggs, and a few days after that is when most hens give up. If she's only been broody for about three days, you've definitely still got time to give her fertile eggs to incubate. Alternately, you could wait until she's been broody for 2-3 weeks and slip some day old chicks under her. Keep in mind that whichever way you go, you should really separate her from the flock so neither she nor the eggs/chicks are injured. Many people just place their broodies in a large dog crate in the coop itself, and if your coop is large enough than that would be an excellent option.
     

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