Odd behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jonalisa, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
    NH
    My Coop
    All my hens are 6 mos. I have a buff orpington pullet who went broody about 2 weeks after her first egg. I did as advised and just kept taking her off the nest and put her outside . After about 3 days, she was fine.
    That was about a month ago. The other day I noticed 2 hens missing - checked the nests and realized 2 were in the same nest. When I opened it, I saw my White Rock laying ON TOP OF my buff orpington. I took the WR out and put her in her own nest (she has been laying at least as long as my BO).

    Today my BO was in the nest for a few hours so I took her out. When I went out just now, she was in the nest again. When I took her out (she had laid an egg), 3 hens came running over and started pecking her. I picked her up and sat with her on my lap and at least 2 hens tried to come over and peck her again. All the hens then went outside, so I put the BO down and she ate and drank, but then went right back into the nest.
    I feel I should take her out but I want to understand why she is being pecked. I have to go to a dinner tonight, but I am worried about leaving her alone with the others. This is odd, she was never picked on before. Any advice???

    Thanks,
    jonalisa
     
  2. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2013
    She sounds like she is broody again. You may want to try a wire bottom crate (dog kennel or rabbit cage) put her in there with food and water but no bedding. This will help lower her body temp back to normal and knock her out of being broody. As for the ones pecking her she is most likely the bottom of the pecking order because she is broody. Once she is broken remove the hens that pecked on her the most, add her back to the flock and after a few days put the means back with the flock. It should change the pecking order and she may not be at the bottom anymore after that. If they still end up being mean, remove them again for a few more days. Just make sure no one draws blood and remove any bloody chicken as they can become cannibalistic.
     
  3. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
    NH
    My Coop
    I didn't consider her temperature.
    OK thanks very much. I will try that.
     
  4. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
    NH
    My Coop
    Ok so after a bit more watching, it seems they only go after her when I take her out of the nest box. At that point she is all puffed up with feathers ruffled and that draws the attention, I guess. But I have been standing over her while she eats and drinks and when she is done she runs out to the run. The others follow, but they pretty much go about their business and are not interested in her.
    But just now, when she jumped up onto a roost, I could see her vent area and it isa mess with wet and dried poop.
    Is that a broody thing or should I worry about it being something else?
    Also I am planning to go out there with some warm water and facecloth to clean her and then use a blow dryer to dry her. It is in the upper 30's out there. Is this safe to do?


    I really appreciate the advice!I hope someone wil respond quickly so I have time to get out there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  5. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
    NH
    My Coop
    Okay. done. I'll add this comment for anyone in the same situation.
    I brought her in the house, washed her vent, trimmed the feathers that were too encrusted, wiped her with witch hazel and gave her a blow dry. The vent looked good, not swollen or prolapsed.
    Once in the coop again, she was clucking a lot then went in to the nest box - I let her, since she hasn't laid yet today. I also filled the nests with clean straw.
     
  6. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Some broodies end up pooping everywhere which is not very desirable when trying to hatch out eggs as it can cause bacteria in the eggs and they won't hatch. If you are not planning on hatching out chicks it is best to break her of being broody, they will not stop on their own unless they have chicks to take care of. If you dont' have fertile eggs you could get day old chicks and stick them under her at night and see if she will take them. I would recommend that if you do put chicks under her to move her to a safe location where the rest of the flock cannot get at her and the babies as they may kill the babies.
     

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