Missing chest/belly feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Im Barred up, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Im Barred up

    Im Barred up Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    New Brunswick
    I've had a hen the last couple of days who doesn't seem to want to leave the nest box. I went out after dark last night and put her up on the roost and came in to fill up the waterer. When I went back out, even in the pitch dark she had found her way back to the box. I kicked her out again and put a block of wood in there to block her for the night. When I looked at her again up on the roost she was all puffed up like she was really cold (28f out last night) and none of the other birds were puffed up.
    She was back in the nesting box this morning so I drug her out again and could feel the bare skin. Is this molting or broody? She growls at me when I move her or take the eggs out from under her. When she sits in there at night there's no eggs, so it shouldn't be broody? She's only 9 months old so I wouldn't think it's be molt either? The skin looks healthy underneath, so any ideas? No one else is shedding feathers. And it's actually a little worse then the picture looks. Thanks
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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  2. Im Barred up

    Im Barred up Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    New Brunswick
    Picture added and after watching her for a bit she is acting sluggish too
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  3. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    She shows the classic symptoms of my hens when they are broody - even by taking eggs fro under them - they insist on staying n the nesting boxes and will move to one of the boxes where a hen has just laid!

    Suzie
     
  4. Im Barred up

    Im Barred up Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    New Brunswick
    So how do I break her? She won't go outside with the other hens and with the nights getting colder and colder, it's not the time to be ripping feathers out. I also don't want her to get accustomed to sleeping in the nesting box either. Should I keep blocking off the box at night? When I went out early this morning she was sitting in front of the box on the floor. When I took the chunk of wood out of the box she resumed her position. I have four boxes, but all my hens use the one. I've also been finding eggs on the floor as the other ones can't get in to lay their eggs. (one extra one will cram in there with her, but I'd say an egg ends up on the floor when another one wants to lay too)...so I don't want them to get used to just dropping eggs on the floor either! Alot of nusience things could result with her being possibly broody.
     
  5. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    You can block her access as you have been doing overnight with a piece of wood to discourage her - hens will usually break the habit after a few weeks... YES it can take that long for them - she does need to be removed from the nesting box as frequently as you are able to do so.

    It is saddening but a broody will normally go into a trance like state when she is determined to hatch eggs - she MUST be removed from the box - even if you want to hatch chicks - some will die of starvation and lack of water if they are not removed from their mission! Feed her and offer water - make sure that she does eat and drink at least a few times a day.

    All of mine that have ever gone broody pluck out the feathers from their stomach area when they are ready to set on the eggs... despite Winter conditions too!!!

    Suzie
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    One of my Light Brahma's likes to go broody at the wrong time of the year too. I put her in a cage in the garage alone, away from the others for a week or two (3 weeks once)...depending how hardheaded she wants to be to break her broodiness. I make sure she has feed and water while caged. If you can, try caging her away from the others, it might work for you too.
     
  7. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    My Coop
    One of my Barred Rocks (6.5months old) has gone broody. She sat on the nest for a week, I would remove her a couple times a day and back she went. I am ok with raising more chickens(i can have 999 leagally). So I put 3 eggs under her last Friday morning. She is one week in now and gets off the nest to eat, drink and POOP once a day for about 10 minutes. I will be moving her to the grow-out/broody tractor in a week( I have 9 week old pullets I am integrating into the main flock that are using it). I am also getting 4 silkie chicks from a renowned breeder near me and putting them under her when her eggs hatch(I have extra fake eggs under her so she is sitting on about 8 eggs). My wife and I agreed if one went broody we would let her hatch out. So to the OP, yes it sounds like you have a broody on your hands as young as she may be. Maybe find a couple of day old chicks on Craigslist to put under her and let her raise them.
     
  8. smedly9921

    smedly9921 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2012
    North East Ohio
    That hen is broody, Don't waste that put some eggs under her and 28 days later you got yourself some more chicks. She will do all the work and you get to expand your flock. She will keep them warm during the winter all she needs is food and water. If you really don't want a broody chicken every one else has got the right idea on how to stop her. Or fake her out put a bunch of golf balls under her let her sit on them for a while then when they don't hatch she will go back to normal only problem there is no eggs from her. Your choice. BYC has always got the right info. I have been trying to get broody hens for a while now and always strike out. I have silkys, buffs and cochins and they all get broody but give up after a few days. So your lucky in my opinion. A couple friends of mine have hens that go broody in the winter and there clutches always do fine. Its funny and cute to see little chicks walk threw deep snow.
     
  9. Im Barred up

    Im Barred up Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    New Brunswick
    Maybe I want to let her...I wouldn't mind having a few chicks, but I worry about the winter situation. Another 2 months and we could see some -30 to -40 nights. With no or few feather's I worry about freezing babies. Especially where my coop is uninsulated. I don't know if mama can keep them warm in some of the extreme temps we sometimes see. I wonder if she'd be happy if I only gave her 2 or 3 eggs. That way she'd only have a chick or 2 to keep warm
     
  10. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    As long as she can get out of drafts she should be fine.
     

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