Huh????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicknmania, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We have a White Rock mix hen, "Hedwig", who has been sitting on eggs (or so we thought) off and on all summer. She will set for a while, quit, then return. She selected a place to set in a storage cabinet in our barn...took us a long time to find out where she was! We figured she was just broody and didn't pay much attention, but finally we decided..ok let's candle the eggs and if none are fertile, lets take them away so she can quit this nonsense and get on with her life. Well...yesterday, we discovered there are no eggs. I am worried she may be egg bound, but this has been going on all summer and otherwise she seems perfectly healthy. Would she do this if she were egg bound, or is there such a thing as false pregnancy [​IMG] in chickens? We don't know how old she is and whether or not she is past the age where she would lay much if at all, or if, in fact she might be laying somewhere else. Or she might even be eating them after she lays them. Next time we get a chance to catch her, I guess we will try to see if she is egg bound, but I have no experience with this, other than I know what to feel for. Would she actually go to the trouble of hiding the eggs when she leaves the "nest"?

    Also, we have two other hens who are co-mothering. They take turns sitting on the eggs, and periodically keep each other company. It is charming to watch! Theirs are due to hatch end of this month!
     
  2. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would dismantle Hedwig's nesting area, then confine her so that she can't go back there until she snaps out of it. She'll come around.
     
  3. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've had hens brood on empty nests before, so they will do that. I've also heard of a hen who would cover her eggs when she left the nest, so that's possible.

    If she's eggbound, you will notice. She'll be puffed up and not want to move she might also look like she's pushing. If she's an internal layer her belly will be tight and swollen like a ballon. I hope it's neither of those problems, they are tough to deal with!

    She's probably fine though, just hormonal and wierd. [​IMG]
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thanks, we'll look at her stomach more closely, but haven't noticed anything unusual. My son took her off the nest today and put her in a pen for a week or so. She was mad as a hornet, tried to bite, and grapped the plastic bag she'd been making a nest out of, carrying it with her as she was carried away! No eggs anywhere. Poor Hedwig...a whole summer wasted!
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    OK, she's been confined for ten days now. She has not laid any eggs, and is pulling out her feathers and leaving them all over the pen. No indication that we can tell of being egg bound or internal laying. She's eating and drinking fine. How long will it take her to get over this if it's still an internal thing?
     
  6. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds like a dog we once had. She had a 'false pregnancy', wouldn't eat, cried all the time, paced like a nervous nellie. We took her to the vet and he said to give her a 'puppy' and she would need to complete her 'pregnancy'. We got her a stuffed puppy. She 'nursed' it and bathed it and carried it around like any good dog mother would. Sad and bizzarre, but it worked.
    Maybe you could get the poor girl a chick or two.
     
  7. kybukabu

    kybukabu Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Yes! How strange, but I think you're on to something there. My sister-in-law has a 15 year old Macaw, male, who found a golf ball one day and wouldn't let it go. He sat on it, loved on it, and even tried to feed it. Then one day - I'm not making this up; if I was I would pick a better object like a tennis ball - he graduated to a small tin measuring cup.

    [​IMG]

    My point being, ChickOnARoost may have a helpful point here. I wouldn't get her live chickies of course; a stuffed dog toy might even work.
     
  8. FluffyChickenMama

    FluffyChickenMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a RIR thats setting on a empty nest right now.. she will lay an egg.. I will take the egg.. she keeps sitting... fluffing up and making noises the whole nine yards.. I throw her off.. she goes back..

    My mom had a dog that substituted an old sock for her puppy.. carried it and cared for it for a very long time.. I guess most female animals have a need to be mothers and care for their babies..
     
  9. kybukabu

    kybukabu Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Whatever species those babies might be!
     
  10. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    I am not sure she would just take live chicks that she knows she did not hatch, she may attack them. If she is so insistant on being broody, try to find some fertile eggs that she may incubate, hatch and raise. Do you have any from your other hens? [​IMG]
     

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