How do I make sure my broody hen is eating and drinking??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Wendyba29, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Wendyba29

    Wendyba29 In the Brooder

    I have my first broody [​IMG] and I don't think she is getting up to eat or drink. There have been no new poops in her area and the food doesn't seem to be disturbed. I tried to give her some lettuce and a tomato (normally favorite treats) But she just puffed up at me and kinda growled. I have only seen one small poop that was kind greenish and runny, [​IMG] but that was it. Is this normal or am I freaking out over nothing? [​IMG]
  2. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    Are you trying to hatch eggs with her? If not, throw (erm, I mean, lightly push [​IMG] ) her off the nest a few times a day. When I do this, my broody rushes over to get a drink, gulps down some food, and, with extra persuasion, goes out into the run to take a dustbath. Mine refuse to take care of themselves, so I have to do this a few times a day.

    If you are trying to hatch eggs with her, maybe just put cups of food and water right in front of her so she can take them when she wants? I've never hatched eggs with a broody, so I'm just guessing you don't want to take her off the nest.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    How long has she been broody? Is this her first time? Do you have her confined or is she free to go as she wishes?

    It may take her a while to figure out this broody thing if it is her first time. She is running on hormones and instinct so is probably not thinking very clearly. It is very rare, but occasionally a broody will not get up to eat, drink, and deficate. Most figure it out and do fine. If you do not see poo in her nest, she is probably getting up and you don't know it. They normally won't get off heir nest and leave it unguarded if a threat, like you, is around.

    Growing up on the farm many years ago, one of my chores was to gather the eggs in the late afternoon. We did not separate our broody hens. I'd take a broody off the nest and toss her out the coop door while checking her nest for any newly laid eggs. She used this time to eat, drink, and deficate.

    Good luck!!!
  4. If you want her to brood, leaving gifts like diced tomato will help her stay hydrated, and some people place small feed and water cups with broodies. Avoid grapes, they stuff themselves and it isn't pretty. Some are demure and wish to eat in private ( mine is). Some self-pluck and eat the feathers ( like mine-argh!). Some like layer feed mixed with applesauce and will sip it when you are not looking.

    But if your intention is to get her off the nest, remove eggs asap, several times a day and encourage her to get back with the others.

    I don't have a rooster but I have a broody. She was tough to motivate, kept weight on her and then had a crop problem when she ate part of her nest. No more alfalfa for her! I'd love to understand more about their behavior and how to regulate them. Luckily she is very sweet to me and I can touch her in the box and move her without getting bitten. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  5. Wendyba29

    Wendyba29 In the Brooder

    I'd like her raise them, this is her first time. I have her confined in a dog house with a screen over the front door so she is able to see everyone but they can't get in. The lid lifts up for easy access. She has room to get up, walk to the food and water. I'll try to get her up and see if she'll eat or drink while she's off the nest. I picked her up and set her in the middle of the floor when I moved her originally, and she just sat there all fluffed up and made some weird little clucking noises.
  6. Oh my goodness they're hilarious, but a concern too that they don't lose weight. We have a ringneck pheasant dancing for the girls outside the run each morning, maybe he's caused her to brood? Phwew

    Enjoy- nice chance to spoil mama, too.[​IMG]
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Mine are more willing to get off the nest to food and water when they have a pen to themselves. I've not had one that starves herself or eats inappropriate things like the nest or feathers. Maybe its a little too dark in the doghouse where you have the food and water? I try to make the nest cozy and sheltered but put the food and water out in the light to encourage more use of it.
  8. chickie momma di

    chickie momma di Songster

    Jun 6, 2008
    Southeastern, MA
    [​IMG] When our buff orph went broody for the 1st time we had no idea what was goin on at first. [​IMG] once we figured it out we noticed she wasn't getting up to eat, drink or poop. So........we literaly took her off the nest each day. she needed lots of coaxing . by that i mean we gently stuck her beak in water each time we took her off. once she got the water on her face she would snap out of it for a bit. she would eat, make a MONSTER dump, and sometimes dust bathe. she would stay off the nest for no moore than 15-20 mins sometimes not even that long. didn't seem to harm the eggs at all and this was in mid march in southern ma. they just know what to do. we let her hatch and keep her baby. out of 6 eggies 2 hatched, 4 were not fertil ( they were given to us by a friend) her own eggies would have been more fertil cause it was just her and mr chubbs at the time.
    we let momma and daddy raise the babes and they did a GREAT job. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    she did still loose a bit of weight but quickly gained it back after about 2 weeks after hatching. about a week before laying again she was just an eating machine. all is well
    good luck
  9. Hi Wendy,
    Each broody is a bit different and if this is her first time it's a guessing game. I have one who absoultely LOVES me to come and give her snacks in the corner of her broody box as well as holding up a small waterer once or twice a day so she can get a drink. She loves to be babied. [​IMG] Another who does not want to be touched, thank you very much, and won't eat treats but gets off the nest about everyother day for about 10 minutes. I've found that most of my broodies will accept treats, (scratch w/BOSS, bits of scrambled egg, bread, bits of cheese etc.), in a front corner of their broody box once I begin doing it regularly so they don't have to get out as often and leave their nest unprotected. I want them to get up and eat some layer crumbles so keep it down to treats once or twice a day. I've found that the broodies who will take treats fare better by the end of brooding ,weight and energy wise, than those who don't so I do encourage them. We need a broody thread - "Getting to know your Broody 101." [​IMG]
  10. Wendyba29

    Wendyba29 In the Brooder

    Thanks!! That would be great, someone should start that thread!!

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