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My hen hasn't left her nesting box in days

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AudraC, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. AudraC

    AudraC New Egg

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    Sep 24, 2015
    Hi - I am so very new to this site and to raising chickens in general so please bear with me as I am not familiar with all the correct naming as it relates to chickens, still learning!

    We have 4 pullets (2 are about 6 months old and 2 are about 8 months old) that in a backyard coop. We live in a neighborhood within city limits. We think the 2 older ones are laying but one of them has not left the nesting box for about 3 days. I don't think she has been eating or drinking anything so I tried to put a little water and food near her yesterday but she didn't seem interested. We are certain she is laying and think she still is because we keep finding eggs in the box she is in but who knows, it may have been the other layer who nudged her way into the same box. I lifted her up and just looked underneath (didn't move feathers around) and nothing looks abnormal. The only other odd thing I have noticed is that her earlobes are solid white.

    Should I be worried? Does anyone out there know what could be going on with her or what I should do?

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Does she puff up or make funny growling like noises when you disturb her?
     
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    What breed? White earlobes most likely mean she iscacwhite egg laying breed. Cochins and silkies are known to go "broody", in fact, I have a 5 month old banty Cochin that is setting right now lol... I'm not entirely sure on other breeds.
     
  4. MadamPoofyBrow

    MadamPoofyBrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is probably broody :-D
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    She is either broody or sick. That is why I asked if she is acting broody.
     
  6. MadamPoofyBrow

    MadamPoofyBrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True.
    Here's some questions for AudraC:
    I deal with broodies all the times, so here's some ways to know:
    1: What breed is she?
    2: If you dip her beak in water, will she drink? I have a hen who goes broody all the time and won't drink unless I make her.
    3: A lot of broodies won't eat on the nest. Set the food a little ways away and see if she gets it.
    4: How does she react when you try to touch her? Does she puff up? Growl? Bite, even?
    5: How many days has she been sitting like this?
    and 6: Look around for poop. If you find a giant massive extremely stinky pile, she's probably broody. Broody poop is gross [​IMG]
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Broody poop! I have a question on that lol... Is it supposed to look like they just ate a pound of clay? Mine left a huge pile of what literally looks like a ball of clay, full of sand... I just assumed she ate a bunch of dirt while bathing; that's pretty much all it was!?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  8. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I know this is only my opinion . . . . But broody hens should never have food or water where it can be reached without getting off the nest.

    If she won't get off of the nest willingly, she should be gently lifted off the nest and set in the floor daily so she can eat, drink and poop. If she refuses to get off of the nest there is a likelyhood of her pooping in the nest. Which could not possibly be good for the eggs.
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Good point. I can add to it... I put a pan of food by mine and the other hens were in there bugging her and eating her food. I didn't know if she was getting up or not, since she's so young and new, but she does sneak out and get a drink and eat and a dyst bath, then goes right back. It helped getting the food pan out if there; the other hens were upsetting her over the food bowl being right there.
     
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    For what it is worth, here is another of my opinions . . . . . Broodies need to be separated from the rest of the flock. Other hens trying to lay in her nest is very stressful for her, not to mention the chance of egg breakage from the fighting. Or the eggs hatching at different times.
     

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