My Broody Hen is missing feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by annabelle71, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. annabelle71

    annabelle71 New Egg

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    May 13, 2013
    This is our first time dealing with a broody hen. When we picked her up to remove her from the nest box we noticed that most all of her feathers are missing from her breast and under side. Is this normal? I wonder if she has been eating them for nutrition.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    It's normal. They actually pluck themselves so that their skin will come into direct contact with the eggs for better incubation.
     
  3. annabelle71

    annabelle71 New Egg

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    May 13, 2013
    Thank you, I'm so relieved to hear this. There is no sign of any feather in the coop which lead me believe she has to be eating them. We remove her from the nest box and she always returns, currently no eggs beneath her. Now to deal with her broodiness. Can a chicken die of starvation/dehydration while brooding? I never see her leave the box and when we take her out she won't stand up right away.
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    You're welcome! If you're not going to have her hatch eggs the best thing to do would be to break her of her broodiness because it is very hard on them. Lock her for a day or two in a wire bottomed cage (with food and water of course) that is propped off the ground so that there's air flow under her. Hopefully that will break her. If you let her out and she goes back to the nest, put her back in the cage for a couple more days and try again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
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