Just "Broody" or is she sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by maizy'smom, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. maizy'smom

    maizy'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Philadelphia suburbs
    My eleven month old Buff Orp, Pearl, has been acting (for about a week now) as if she is going broody. She's been spending every waking (and sleeping) moment in the nest box. For reference, we have four hens and two nest boxes, and only 2 of the 263 eggs they have laid have been laid in the right nest box, all the others were laid in the left box. Pearl hasn't laid since Tuesday, and has been sitting on everyone's eggs and the golf balls, or on nothing, as the case may be. The other girls have had to squeeze in beside her, or stand on top of her if necessary, to lay their eggs. I try to roust her out a few times a day to eat and drink but she heads right back in as soon as she's had a nibble. And when I lift her out and put her down, she just sits on the ground as if she's still in the nest box. Lastly, she has plucked out her chest feathers, I imagine so as to keep the eggs warmer, but her chest skin is very red and irritated-looking. I've thought about locking her out, but then none of the other girls could get in either, and I want them to have somewhere safe to run to if they feel danger threatening, or if it rains. So, the question is this; is she just broody and it will all go back to "normal" in a few weeks? Or, is she sick and is there something I could/should be doing for her? I appreciate the collective and generous genius of all here. Thanks.

    mm
     
  2. LuvinChickens

    LuvinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Northern, CA
    I think she is simply very broody. She has a broody patch (the patch of missing feathers) and she is showing normal broody activities. Keep her hydrated and well fed. You could bring her inside to keep her from the nest box, but most people don't want to do that. Orpingtons are well known for being very broody. Mine sure is. Feel free to contact me day or night if you have any problems or questions about your flock. You probably know all there is to know about poultry, or you might have just bought birds and don't know anything. I just like to ask because I like to help people. Good luck!
     
  3. maizy'smom

    maizy'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    397
    4
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    May 15, 2011
    Philadelphia suburbs
    Thanks so much for your reply. I am, indeed, new to chicken keeping, and every developmental landmark is a first for me as well as for my girls. I was kind of leaning towards thinking she was just broody, but the red chest spot raised some doubts. Thanks again for your insight. It's comforting to know it's just "normal" broodiness.

    mm
     

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