Molting hen can she be broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by superchemicalgirl, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I have a speckled sussex that's about 18 months old. She started going through a pretty hard molt a few weeks ago. She's coming out of it but her face is still full of pinfeathers, her tail is only about an inch long and her feathers on her back and wings are probably moving along at the same rate as the tail. She gets picked on a lot (I had to blue kote her wings about 2 weeks ago cause someone pecked her pinfeathers bloody) and hasn't been acting like herself. She usually comes when she's called and always comes running if I shake a container of sunflower seeds (even if she's laying an egg), but hasn't recently. All the other hens that are molting or just molted act weird too, really meek and off by themselves. However, this chicken has been hanging out in the nesting boxes (and one in particular). Others are laying eggs in there, but when I come home from work she's in the nesting box. I assumed she was just hiding from the rest of the flock, but the eggs under her were warm, and there was no poop in the box. I made her get out and she ate and drank and had a huge stinky broody poo. She then got on the roost. She's not acting crazily hormonal like a broody, but definitely weird...

    So...

    Can a molting hen go broody? I doubt it.

    Can I use her as a broody if my incubator gets too full for the NYD hatch? Maybe.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Maryland
    I would think that raising babies would be the last thing on a molting hen's mind, but I have learned to never underestimate a chicken.
    It could be the nestbox is the warmest and /or darkest place in the coop and it soothes her? Like when we aren't feeling well and want a nice warm bed and darkness and quiet.
    I had a silkie that would be partly broody. The others would be sitting on eggs in the back corner of the coop, and she would sit diligently on the roost because the broody crew wouldn't share. After a few days up there she would decide it was silly and go join the rest of the flock.

    I'd be curious to know if your girl is being broody. Keep us updated! ( and pictures- we need a picture LOL)
     
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, as counter-intuitive as it may appear, they most certainly can.

    Last year my Bluey, twisted spine and totally bald on her back and most of her breast decided to go VERY broody. As she was so bald I gave her a padded poultry saddle to wear one day when she came out to eat/drink to keep her warm
     
  4. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Here she is just a few minutes ago:

    [​IMG]


    Now, on normal days, this chicken is a total space cadet. So I'm not certain she's broody, and I'm certain she's not certain what she is, either.
     
  5. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Quote:Did she raise her chicks well?
     
  6. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I still don't know what is up with this crazy bird. Her molt is almost completely done... her butt feathers and a few pinfeathers on her face are still left, but the rest of her actually looks like a chicken now.

    Every day when I come home from work it's dark, they're all roosting. I go in to collect the eggs and she's on a nest, the same one. Eggs under her, nice and snuggly warm. But as soon as I go in the coop she starts getting out of the nest box, broody poops, drinks some water and eats. Of course it's dark so I have to hold a flashlight for her to do it. When she's done she doesn't even try to go back to her nest like a broody would, she gets right up on the roost. I tried tonight to herd her back into her nest, and she wouldn't have it. I've even tried coming in without a white light, but with a red one... nope, she still stumbled out of the box.

    I've had broodies before that I've been trying to break and they will feel their way back to the nestbox in total darkness just to get back to their eggs (or golfballs). I'm going with crazy, but not crazy broody for this one.
     

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