my chicken is losing all her feathers and not laying!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mox34, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. mox34

    mox34 New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Help!! I am new to keeping chickens, I originally brought 3 and then found out one was a cockerel, and I have since adopted another.
    My problem is one of my hens has lost all her feather from underneath, she has also stopped laying but she is constantly sitting in the nesting box and if the others lay she lays on those and pecks you if you try to move her. I have checked for mites and they all seem clear the others have lost some feather but they seem to have grown new ones.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It sounds like a broody hen to me. They pluck their breast feathers out so that they can more easily transfer their body heat to the eggs. If she's sitting on fertilized eggs, they'll hatch in 21 days from the time she began to sit on them.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    She's broody. She wants to hatch babies.
     
  4. mox34

    mox34 New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2012
    I really dont want her to how can i stop her so her feathers grow back???
     
  5. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    People have all sorts of remedies for a broody hen. Personally I just keep removing the eggs daily and let her get through the broodiness on her own.
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Search "breaking a broody".
     
  7. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can, block off the nest and remove her repeatedly. I have a silkie that goes broody pretty regularly. The longest she remained broody was a few weeks, she was intent on sitting on the invisible eggs ( there were none in the nestbox [​IMG] ). I would remove her and block off the nestbox. I would give the other girls somewhere safe and close by to lay their eggs, I would put a fake egg in there so that it seemed safer to them.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The most efficient, easiest way to stop a broody from being broody is the broody cage treatment. You need a cage with an open mesh bottom, and no bedding, so air can circulate under her.

    I leave the cage in the run during the day and move it into the garage at night, or if your coop is big, you can put it in the coop. I place a fan to blow on the broody's underparts all night.

    I've never had a hen go more than three days being broody with this treatment. She'll begin to re-grow her feathers and resume laying in a week or so.

    After a couple days of cage treatment, free her and watch her. If she zips right back onto the nest, she's still broody and needs another day in the cage.

    I've read and tried all the other broody treatments, dunking in cold water, blocking her from the nest, ice packs, etc. None works as well as the cage treatment. The main goal is to cool her down and lower her body temperature, therefore halting the hormones.

    Good luck.
     
  9. mox34

    mox34 New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Thank you this seems most helpful.
     

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