Pullet has me confused.

Sahraschweiss

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 9, 2020
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Wildwood, Missouri
I have an 8 1/2 month old black sex-link pullet named Big Girl that has me confused.

Back in September she had a limp and found bumblefoot on the non-limp foot. As this is my first time with chickens, I took her to a vet. They did an exam (no x-ray). Gave me options on the bumblefoot and taught me how to clean and wrap. Also gave an antibiotic for 2 weeks. The limp they thought might be a strained muscle from compensating for the other foot. Fecal float was clear.

The bumblefoot took another round of antibiotics, but finally cleared after 4 weeks. She has nice scab free feet again. However, the limp never really went away. She got around ok, did her chicken things, ate, drank, scratched, roosted, pooped, but she would take long breaks. She had stopped laying in September, but has just started again two weeks ago.

Over the weekend it looked like she was trying to lay in run. She sitting and nesting. Our top hen started bully her by ripping out tail feathers, so I removed Big Girl.

Since Sunday, Big Girl has been in a 30 in x 48 in dog crate in the house. She laid yesterday. She didn't get on the low (6 inch tall) rooster. She didn't poop at all during the night, but had a gigantic single poop this morning. She eats and drinks, but spends most of her time sitting. Her comb is red, eyes are clear. She watches what I'm doing, and occasionally talks to me when I talk to her. She will move if I open her door. She will go for some scratch, but likes to position herself between her food and water.

I'm at a loss over what is happening. It's like she is nesting but hasn't quite figured out what she is doing. Or her hip just hurts.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
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Do you know the signs of a broody chicken? It sounds a little like a broody hen, who as you said, hasn't quite figured out what she is doing.

A broody hen might have some or all of these behaviors:
  • Refuse to move from the nesting box
  • Fluffs her feathers out to make herself look big
  • Growling, pecking, clucking, or sort of a "trilling" noise when someone attempts to move her from the nest box
  • Running back to the nest box after removal
  • Plucking out her chest feathers
  • Stops laying eggs
  • Flattens herself like a pancake when approached
And, on an unrelated note, how long did you give her antibiotics before the bumble cleared? (Asking for myself.)
 
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SulkyBantam

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Nov 3, 2020
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Poor thing! She may have fallen over trying to walk with bumblefoot. My pullet had a limp, was bullied and would not walk or eat.... but she is a lot better now!

Do you know the signs of a broody chicken? It sounds a little like a broody hen, who as you said, quite hasn't' figured out what she is doing.

A broody hen might have some or all of these behaviors:
  • Refuse to move from the nesting box
  • Fluffs her feathers out to make herself look big
  • Growling, pecking, clucking, or sort of a "trilling" noise when someone attempts to move her from the nest box
  • Running back to the nest box after removal
  • Plucking out her chest feathers
  • Stops laying eggs
  • Flattens herself like a pancake when approached
And, on an unrelated note, how long did you give her antibiotics before the bumble cleared? (Asking for myself.)
Yes, another thing to consider... but I presume you know about broodiness.
 

Sahraschweiss

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 9, 2020
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Wildwood, Missouri
What you described sounds like it, but she didn't stay in the nester or on her egg. It's like she wants to brood, but doesn't want to miss out on what's going on.

The antibiotic was a total of 4 weeks. She had swelling, so we kept the antibiotic going until the swelling was gone. When I discovered her foot, I checked the others and three more girls. I didn't put them on antibiotics because they didn't have swelling. Soaked, vetericyned, neosporin ed, and wrapped twice a day. Their scabs came of without kernels. They all have smooth feet again. It's labor intensive, but I'm lucky to work from home and had the time to do it.
 

Sahraschweiss

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Apr 9, 2020
330
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Wildwood, Missouri
Poor thing! She may have fallen over trying to walk with bumblefoot. My pullet had a limp, was bullied and would not walk or eat.... but she is a lot better now!



Yes, another thing to consider... but I presume you know about broodiness.
Actually, this is my first time with chickens and haven't had a broody hen yet. My 19 girls are 8 months and 6 months old.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
2,491
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Southwestern Pennsylvania
Actually, this is my first time with chickens and haven't had a broody hen yet. My 19 girls are 8 months and 6 months old.
It is possible to have a confused broody, but I imagine the signs can vary. I'm not confident this is what's going on with your hen, but it's the first conclusion I had. I had a pullet who, a month after laying, I found her clucking away and hunkering down on a surprise hidden nest in the woods. I evicted her, but she spent two days waddling around like a turkey and clucking at everyone, just like a broody would, but didn't' actually keep sitting like a broody. Then she snapped out of it. Later in the summer she went broody again, and was like a normal broody. I had to throw her in broody jail to break her broodiness.

Since we don't know the exact problem and can't rule out an illness or injury, I think there wouldn't be harm and putting this one in broody jail. This way if she is sick, she won't infect others, and you can observe her. After 2-3 days, if she's acting like a normal chicken, she was probably just broody, but if things worsen or new symptoms develop, it's probably not broodiness but something else.
 

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2019
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Did she have joint involvement higher up her leg with the bumble foot? Pics and/or video may prove helpful. Have you checked in with your vet again with an update and gotten their opinion? That would be the best avenue to pursue as they were the ones to initially examine and treat her. :)
 

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