Newbie asks: Broody Belly?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 2DogsFarm, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    One of my Black Stars has a bald belly.

    No visible bugs or injury & I had noticed a lot of black feathers around the nestboxes in the past week, but thought she was molting.

    None of the others are showing any major loss of feathers like this.

    Could she be thinking of going broody???

    There are no roosters on 2 Dogs Farm but I do have wooden eggs in the boxes.
    If she is broody will she set on those?
  2. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I have definitely seen bald bellies appear just before broodiness sets in. If you want her to go broody, put several of your fake eggs in the same nest box. I bet she'll find them.

    I don't have a rooster either, so I've been getting eggs shipped or from a local farmers market. They run their hens with roosters, so the eggs are fertile. For $5 I get fertile eggs, and then I give away the chicks. They even sell blue egg dozens, so I'm hatching out all Easter Eggers. Very easy to give away!
  3. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Sigh...thanks Bailey but I have now found 2 more hens losing belly down & feathers.
    Plus on of them - my Houdan - spent all day in a nestbox and when I took her out I found - yup, balding belly & she was cranky as all getout.

    Either everyone is considering going broody or it is a Summer molt - wish I was experienced enough to tell the difference. [​IMG]
    If it means anything today is one of the hottest days we've had all year and tomorrow is forecast for the same.

    I inspected the baldys and no sign of lice/mites/fleas or anything other than down & feathers missing from their midlines.

    Since I do NOT want to hatch eggs I removed the fakes from the boxes. No sense giving them something to fixate on....

    Sigh #2 - I am leaving town for 5 days starting Wednesday so my farmsitter will gather eggs & deal with molting hens or PMSing hens.

    Remind me why I wanted chickens...oh yeah, the eggs [​IMG]
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Hens do tend to go broody together due to co-ordination of their hormone patterns.

    All those bald bellies (if the rest of the hen is obviously not on molt) suggests they all want to be mommas!

  5. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Sandie - there are no roosters here on 2 Dogs Farm.
    They will have to have Little Chicken Miraculous hatchings...
    Or everyone will just have to deal with their little chicken hormones as best they can.

    Broody Houdan was still on the roost I put her on last night this morning.
    She got down to eat and go out into the yard with the others, and was still out when I left for work 2 hours later.
    But I fully expect to find her sitting on their eggs tonight.

    Oh well, at least she is not super crabby about being taken off a nest and doesn't care if I take the eggs she's sitting on.
    I suppose that could escalate while I'm gone so I did warn my farmsitter: BEWARE! BROODY HEN!!

    On the Plus Side:
    She was pecked bald over the Winter (boredom) and the others haven't been able to resist pecking out the bloodfeathers as they come in.
    But now she is just cranky enough so the others are leaving her alone - she had a nice new crop of quills this morning that I am hoping will still be there tonight [​IMG]

    The other Baldy Bellies will have to sort it out themselves.
    As long as everyone is eating, drinking, pooping and acting normally that will have to least until I get back into town.

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