Is My Chicken Dying?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by moderndayhippy, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. moderndayhippy

    moderndayhippy In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    A few weeks ago I lost a chicken possibly due to heat. One day she was fine, then the next she was weak, had a hard time breathing, and I babied her a lot. The other chickens had attacked her and I had to bandage her little head up and took good care of her. She had been healing up well and I had kept her separate from the rest of the flock, until about 3 days later she could no longer walk and wouldn't eat or drink.

    So now....I have another Buff Orp who was breathing hard yesterday, but I took her out of the coop and held her for a bit, and when I put her back out in the run, she drank a lot and then the other chickens began to bully her and she went back into the coop. Overnight she stayed/slept right in the nesting box (I went out there late at night before I headed to bed to check on her, and that's where she still was.) This morning when I went out there, she was still in the nesting box, so I left her after I was sure she was ok.

    Here's the thing....I noticed last night that the other chickens were all ganging up on her, just like they did my other chicken who passed away. She ends up making this trilling noise and puffing her feathers up almost as if to make herself look and sound bigger and badder to keep them away. But everytime, they end up chasing her back into the coop, after getting a peck or 2 in at her. Then when I go in to check on her, she makes this horrible high pitched screeching sound almost like she wants me to stay away too.

    I'm so confused! Does this mean that my chicken is sick and going to die, or is this just a phase maybe because she's a little under the weather due to the heat, or????? I just don't know what else to do for her. Can anyone help me out?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member 9 Years

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Your Buff Orpington is going broody.
  3. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Yep, my exact thoughts as well. Broody hens can be quite testy.
  4. The Chickens' Maid

    The Chickens' Maid Songster 9 Years

    May 2, 2009
    She's perfectly fine; she is just going broody. The "trilling" sound is her growling, and she IS trying to look bigger and badder, she's protecting imaginary eggs. Broody hens will go into a completely different mindset for as long as it takes to hatch out eggs. If she doesn't have anything to hatch out, she could be like this for months (Normally, they sit on the nest for one month, but I've had some go for three to four. It doesn't hurt them at all.) You may want to keep an eye on her to make sure that she is not overheating, since she is sitting in a nest all day. It may help to put a box fan in the coop just to keep it a little cooler.

    If you have room, you can put some hatching eggs under her in a few days (wait to make sure that she's serious). There is NOTHING cuter that a momma hen with her chicks!
  5. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Broody! [​IMG] You could try to break the broodiness, or give her some hatching eggs to sit on. She's just fine. [​IMG]
  6. moderndayhippy

    moderndayhippy In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    So this is normal behavior? I've never ever seen them act this way before. The Buffs are definitely broody sometimes, but never like this. And she doesn't peck at me when I lift her out of the box either. She let me take the egg without even offering to peck at me. That's why I have a feeling that something else is going on with her. [​IMG]
  7. moderndayhippy

    moderndayhippy In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    Wow! Lots more replies while I was typing mine out. Well ok. If you guys say she's ok and just a broody girl I will take your word for it. Can you tell I'm not experienced with this stuff? LOL I have only had Black Sexlinks up until I got my Buffs and let me tell you, they are a whole nother ball game. LOL Very mommy-ish and very intune to one another, unlike the sexlinks who like to just lay their eggs and leave, no questions asked.

    Thank you for all of your help. This is so interesting and new for me! (I've owned the Buffs for about 2 months now.)
  8. happyhens44

    happyhens44 BroodyAddict

    Apr 25, 2010
    Northern WI
    Broodys can act diffrent I went to someones house and they had 5 broodys, one let them take the eggs from her ( I think because shes really tame, lets people touch her) while the others made really funny sounds its kinda cute attually I think. Not all broodys act the same.

    Btw.. sorry about your other hen.
  9. moderndayhippy

    moderndayhippy In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    Quote:Thanks so much for the kind words about my other hen. It was very sad for us.

    I got some golf balls to put in the middle nesting box for my broody baby and she is loving sitting on them! I wasn't sure if the golf balls would work, but it seems to be making her happy. I made sure to pick her up this morning and take her outside. I kept her outside of the run and gave her some water. It looks like she is eating the food inside of the coop (we have food and water both inside the coop and inside the run so that they can choose where they want to eat and drink from) so she should be all set. It looked like the water trough water level had dropped too, so I'm pretty sure she's eating and drinking regularly. I just make sure to take her out of the coop for a bit each day to help keep her cooler. The other hens always chase her out of the run and back into the coop, and I find that so weird since before she wouldn't have put up with that. Is that normal when a hen is broody? So strange to me.

    Anyway....thank you again so much everyone for all of your help. I feel a little silly thinking she was dying, but I honestly had no idea that this was normal behavior for them. I do recall my MIL's neighbor (the one who we bought the Buffs from) saying that the Buffs would go through a broody period, but she didn't say what it was like or how long it lasted, or how they acted, so yeah....I was clueless. Very very different behavior from the Sexlinks.

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