Odd chicken behavior... help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HandyHen, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. HandyHen

    HandyHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I have a 9 month old Buff Orpington that acted like she was egg bound a five days ago. The last egg she laid was a week ago. She was laying everyday. All she wants to do is stay in her nesting box. She will drink a little and eat a little, but doesn't want to do anything but be in her nesting box. The first 2 days, I gave her a 30-minute warm bath. That helped with getting some poo out, but that was it. When she pooed outside, it looked like there might have been a little yolk in it, but not much - just a little bit of runniness with some solids.

    It's been terribly hot here so I don't want her sitting in her nesting box all day and baking. I forced her outside to free range with all the others all day yesterday and she seemed to be fine. Her tail isn't up as high as usual, but she walks around and scratches. The minute I open the door to the henhouse, she runs for it and gets in her box.

    I've checked her vent and added a bit of vaseline just in case she has an egg stuck, but I don't feel anything. She sometimes is a bit hunched up and her feathers a bit ruffled.

    Anyone have this happen before? I'm puzzled and worried.
     
  2. hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Colbert, GA
    Could she be broody? Orpingtons are noted for their broodiness. They will stay on the nest all day, only get up once to eat a little and drink and make a big stinking poop.


    ETA: When they are broody, they will not lay eggs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    You have a broody hen. Good luck with her. I have a chronically broody hen that makes me crazy.
     
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she is indeed broody and there are not other health issues, you could try setting a bottle or sealed tupperware container full of ice in the nest box with her. I am doing this with my silkies to keep them from baking in the 100+ heat, and it is helping.

    Good luck!
     
  5. HandyHen

    HandyHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    Hmmmm... I didn't even think she could be broody without having at least one egg she was sitting on. But that makes sense. In the morning, I put her outside the pen just so she gets some exercise and will at least take some water and food. As soon as she gets a chance to get back into the henhouse, she makes a bee-line for the nesting box - this morning running under my feet as I was bringing in fresh water! So, here's the dilemma - I have her out in a little separate pen by herself right now because the vet (poultry diagnostician vet) said to try putting her on some antibiotics just in case she has some kind of infection she's dealing with. There are nesting boxes in this particular pen, but she doesn't get in them....so, do you still think she's broody??

    She hasn't laid an egg for 7 days.....

    I appreciate all of your thoughts!
     
  6. hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Colbert, GA
    Yes, they tend to have a favorite nest box to brood in. You can remove them and move the eggs, but sometimes they will not accept it. Keeping her in a place where she will not sit will break the broodiness. I have a hen who went broody about 4 months ago, I broke her when I moved her nest and she still hasn't laid an egg. Healthy and happy, but she is a Cochin and they sometimes stop laying in the summer heat.
     
  7. HandyHen

    HandyHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    Thanks for the info. I did move her to a separate pen. She doesn't get in the nesting boxes there, but appears to have a favorite in the hen house as you mentioned. My husband fabricated a small cover to place in front of the three boxes at night and last night she got on the roost with the others. I hope it doesn't last 4 months, but whatever - that's Mother Nature.

    Thanks for all your input. I'm just glad it's nothing serious!!
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Broodiness is just plain odd to us people-folks. Most pullets/hens go broody on/in a specific location. That location is important to them in their hormonal drive to set. THIS nest box, right here, is THE location and don't you dare try to move 'em from it! They don't need a rooster to go broody, either. They don't even need EGGS to go broody; some gals will set on the dummy egg golf balls!

    Then there's the behavior on the nest: the chittering warning sounds, the puffing up of head, neck and body feathers to look really big and fill that nest box. (Or wherever she has decided to go broody, like in a planter or under a bush.)

    When my Buff Orpington went broody, she looked like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. HandyHen

    HandyHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    That looks like my Lucille! And yes, there are no eggs, she puffs up the feathers on her neck and body and lifts her tail in the air while in the box. Pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing - they're so darn precious!
     

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