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New Mama Hen won't eat-gives her food to the chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Grace11, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Grace11

    Grace11 Songster

    May 5, 2011
    New Mama Hen won't eat-gives her food to the chicks. She finally pooped this morning after a couple days of none that I could see, she does drink sometimes, but mostly ignores me offering anything or mouths it and gives it to the chicks. She won't even eat live mealworms, just mouths them while madly calling the chicks over and drops them to the chicks! I took her out for a break today and she still wouldnt eat after a half hour, just scratched around calling for the chicks......

    (she was broody and I pulled a switch on her, she woke up to the chicks yesterday morning, I hope I didnt create a monster here. She would hardly eat while sitting either, I had to pull her out and set her in front of the food and then she would eat some but not near enough)
    Does anyone have any ideas?

    Shes a one year old BO, was smaller than the other BO's but was still a good looking gal and was in good shape when all this started.

    Heres the thread where I detail what I did with getting her to take the chicks:
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013

  2. wwhhat

    wwhhat In the Brooder

    Jul 6, 2013
    My hen does the same ... I believe it's normal. I wouldn't separate her from chicks tho...stresses ALL of them
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    It's normal, she's teaching the chicks what food is, to respond to her calls, etc. She will eat when she needs to, but first, she has to get the chicks to learn to eat on their own. Broodies don't need to eat that much because they are not laying and not exerting a lot of energy.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Old thread alert.
  5. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    Even though she throws a lot of food for the chicks, she always ingests a little. She will be just fine.
  6. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chirping

    Mar 9, 2012
    My broody does this also. She has hatched 2 seperate batches and did it on both of them. Especially while she was sitting she would hardly get up to eat. She would feed the little ones and take them out in the run for a bit and show them how to scratch around. Once the little ones got a little older her eating and drinking habbits picked up back to normal. She just doing what a good momma would do putting the little ones first. She should be back to normal before you know it.

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