Please help - broody hen can't/won't walk

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by buckabucka, May 16, 2011.

  1. buckabucka

    buckabucka Crowing

    Jan 13, 2010
    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    This is the first time I've had a broody. She is in a sectioned off area of the coop. I gave her 2 eggs, -both hatched, but one died, so she has a lone chick to raise. There are no other eggs (fake or otherwise) in her nest.

    The chick is now 5 days old. There was evidence that the hen got up to relieve herself once before the eggs hatched, but not since then, and I was worried she was soiling the nest. She had food and water within reach at all times, and had eaten some scrambled egg as well. Today, DH cleaned up the sectioned off area, putting new wood shavings. He then moved the hen off the "nest" (a cardboard box on it's side) into a clean area along with the chick. Her nest was somewhat soiled, so he changed the shavings. He put the baby back in the nest, (which was only a foot or two away), and the hen did not stand up and walk, but shuffled along the ground back over to the baby.

    I was concerned that maybe the hen couldn't walk, so when I got home from work I put food with scrambled egg and water a little ways away from her nest. The chick darted out and ate for a while, but the hen did not get up. She just called to the chick and the chick went back. This happened a couple times. I picked up the hen and put her over by the food, but she stayed in a squatting position and tried to call the chick over, rather than heading back to the nest. She did not eat, as she was concerned about the chick. I lifted the hen several times, but she kept flattening out.

    I removed the cardboard box altogether, since the ceiling doesn't allow for a full standing position, in hopes that she will start standing up. She has quite a bit of old poo crusted on her behind. I honestly do not know if the hen is not capable of standing and walking, or if she is in full broody mode and wants to sit. I have seen her at least lift up and look under her belly when she interacts with the chick, so she must have some strength in her legs.

    Is this normal behavior? Isn't the hen supposed to walk around with the chick a little after 5 days? They are in an enclosure, but there is plenty of room to walk around, even a dust bin if she wants it. I'm really beginning to regret letting this hen hatch some eggs, as I have no idea how I will integrate this chick with the flock without the hen's help to protect it.
    I appreciate any advice on this!

  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Wish I could help, but my broody hen just died - I really think it was from malnourishment from sitting on the egg for so long. SHe was drinking when I put the water up to her,but not eating. Hopefully yours will snap out of it
  3. buckabucka

    buckabucka Crowing

    Jan 13, 2010
    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    Oh, I'm so sorry about your hen! [​IMG] I had put food and water very close, and did see mine eat and drink a little, - not much. It seems like the desire to care for her chick would at least get her up and moving a bit.

    Did yours have any eggs that hatched? I am so frustrated by this.
  4. Jen the Hen

    Jen the Hen In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2014
    What happened to your hen? Mine is behaving the same and has two week old chicks. Please help
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    @Jen the Hen This thread is 4 years old and not likely to get you the responses you need the details about your hen in the emergencies/disease forum.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015

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