How do I tell if my hen is going broody??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by redonthehead, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. redonthehead

    redonthehead In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2010
    I have (I think she's) an americana hen. Unfortunately I don't know how old she is as she was "second-hand" and the owner didn't know her age. She's been a great layer and all-around good hen. Within the last week I've noticed her spending most of her time sleeping in the nest. She would leave the nest and go outside for short periods of time, but basically spent her time sleeping. We thought maybe she was going broody. Problem is, I haven't seen her eat or drink in days and she seems almost weak. I was convinced last night that she was dying. She curled herself up in a corner next to the waterer. I moved the waterer at one point to fill it and she hardly flinched. When I put it back in it's place she turned her head slightly basically acknowledging that I was putting the waterer there, but she didn't open her eyes. A few days ago when I first noticed this she had one eye that she didn't open... now it's both of them...

    Anyway, I'm just wondering how a hen acts when they go broody? Do they act sleepy, or am I right in assuming that she's nearing the end of her life? This morning she moved herself out from behind the waterer and laid in the sunshine, but she's still acting really sleepy. She's showing no visible signs of illness/injury, she's just acting really sleepy all the time and (unless I'm missing it) she's not eating or drinking.

    Thanks for any help you can give me!
  2. Noymira

    Noymira Songster

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:That doesn't sound broody to me. I just had a White Rock go broody, she spends all her time on the nest and fluffs up her feathers and growls when I try to get her to move. When I do get her to move she'll eat and drink and drop the biggest, stinkiest poop ever [​IMG] , then go straight back to sitting on the nest. She really doesn't seem lethargic or sick though, just like a bad case of PMS.

    If your hen is lethargic and laying around, not always in the same nest, it seems like maybe something else is going. Maybe try to get some water with vitamins into her? I'd probably separate her and try to make her comfortable with food and water very close by. Check the diseases and pests section on her for more ideas of what might be the problem.

    Good luck with your hen, I hope you find out what's ailing her.

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