Is she sick or just broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Godiva, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    Calypso, our partridge cochin bantam has started hanging out in the nest box pretty much all the time. If we take her out she seems a bit unsteady on her feet and doesn't seem interested in eating much. WHenever we go back in there she has climbed back in the nest. I have a couple golf balls in there as the Polish have been laying on the floor. She isn't aggressive at all when we move her and doesn't mind being stroked on her back. She has been doing this for a couple of days. Do you think she is broody or is she sick? I have never been around a broody hen before. She is 27 weeks old and has been laying for about 6 weeks. If she is broody how long should I wait before I put eggs under her? We are thinking of moving the roo and two polish hens out in the next few days and leaving her in there in peace? Would this be good?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Interesting... my broodys always go back to the nest but are mean when I want to move them. She'll bite, scream and make a total rucus when I near her.... not sure really. Mixed signal hen...how's her weight?
     
  3. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    How is she now? does she make a noise when you go near her, my broodies usually go cluck,cluck,cluck,cluck in quick procession!
    if you pick her up, has she got any lice? they can cause the same symptoms if there are lots.
     
  4. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
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    I really don't know about her weight. She is a lot smaller than the other hens so it is hard to tell if she has lost any. She has always been a real sweetheart. I have a dusting pan for them with sand and DE so I doubt that she has lice. She is still sitting tight this morning. Wings spread a little and puffed out over the golf balls. I will check her out in a little while when my little one takes a nap. I may try moving her out of the box again and change the wood chips and mix a little DE in there too so it is ready for her if she keeps sitting. How do you tell if she has lice? Where is the best spot to check, she has a LOT of feathers! [​IMG]
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
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    I took her off the nest earlier and freshened it up and replaced the golf balls with eggs. I don't think she has a mean bone in her body, she did puff up a bit and kind of trilled at me. She ate a little, drank a little, did a giant poop, and jumped back in the nest. I also laced the bedding in the nest with lots of DE so hopefully that will take care of any parasites that may have been lurking. She loves dusting herself usually but of course now she is doing nothing but sit in the box.

    I was going to be moving all of them outside with the others (we have made the chicken tractors into portable fort knox's) and I was wondering if there is any reason why she shouldn't go out too, just in a small one on her own? Would that break her broodiness? Should I wait until she is done hatching the chicks? Or should I move them all this weekend and only put the eggs under her if she remains broody after the move?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007
  6. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well if she has a lovely laid back nature, she may take to the move. I have moved broodies on eggs twice this month.
    1 stayed on as if nothing much had happened, the other went ballistic and scattered her eggs around in the new nest, but when I rearranged them into a neat nest she sat back on and has been good ever since.
    I would give it a try if it is going to make life easier for you.
    Best to do it at night which is what I didnt do but should have done!
    Make her a nest in the new tractor, then pick her up and pick up her eggs at the same time and place them in a hay lined container so they dont break.
    Then place the eggs in first in a neat pile, then place her in on top. Watch her to see how she goes. Ill bet she settles really well. You may need to place a cover over her end of the tractor to make it dark and soothing at first while she gets used to it.
    I have never had a hen leave the nest altogether after a move, they have always gone back on, even if I had to show them where to go.
    I hope she behaves for you
    Helen
     
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Certainly sounds like she's broody to me...
    She is still sitting tight this morning. Wings spread a little and puffed out over the golf balls.

    she did puff up a bit and kind of trilled at me. She ate a little, drank a little, did a giant poop, and jumped back in the nest.

    Those are usualy broody signs...​
     
  8. akcskye

    akcskye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started out with one broody, and ended up with all 4 of my ladies that survived the dog attack being broody.

    What you describe is definitely broody sounding to me.

    Make sure you move some food and water close by so she doesn't have to leave her nest area to eat and drink...it helped with my ladies.

    This is how a broody will puff up when approached...

    [​IMG]

    BTW: Above pic is the RIR lady I lost in the dog attack...*cries*...I loved Marti...she was a very friendly hen...she'd look up at me and when I'd lean back, she'd jump onto my shoulder...*sighs*...sorry...didn't mean to get reminiscent...but this is how they look when broody.
     
  9. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    Thanks so much for the input folks. She is definitely broody. She has been sitting tight since Sunday and now my concern is that she doesn't seem to be getting off to eat and drink. I put together a little bowl of her favourites yesterday (kefir grains and catfood with DE) and hopefully she will partake of it. ANy ideas on how to keep tabs on her eating?

    I think we are going to move the whole nesting box into an old stock tank while we finish getting the small tractor predator proof. It should be ok if we move her plus nesting box and do it after dark? We designed our nesting boxes with broodys in mind so that we can just move the whole thing instead of disturbing her on the nest. I hope this will be less traumatic for her. She is going to be in a small tractor all by herself next to the other tractors. I was thinking to leave her in there until the chicks are old enough to be on their own.
     

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