Sick ex-broody

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mtngirl35, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2013
    One of my hens went broody fairly late this year. She usually goes broody every summer but this year she went broody in late October. I live in TN and the weather was above average warm until last week. She has always set faithfully and hatched her chicks. This time she broke off setting 2 days before the hatch was due. Unfortunately I was at work when she left the nest. I don't get home til after dark and when I checked on her she was up on the roost and it was too late to save the chicks. She seemed fine while she was brooding but now she is lethargic and has a pale comb which makes me think she broke her brood because of health problems. She is still eating and drinking but not as much as normal. She is moving slow and often has her feathers puffed up. I checked for mites yesterday and again last night and didn't see anything. She doesn't have diarrhea and her respiration doesn't sound funny. Her crop feels normal. She is feeling underweight but I didn't feel any lumps. I have 19 other chickens and they all seem to be fine. Is she malnourished from being broody? She is 4 years old. I would be grateful for any advice.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would feed her a little extra protein with either some chopped egg, canned tuna, beef liver, or a little plain yogurt added to her usual layer feed. Some poultry vitamins with electrolytes for a week or two added to her water might be good. Hens that age can suffer from some internal laying problems, sore legs, or other ailments. Coccidia or worms could be other possibilities, and a vet could check some fresh droppings.
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Yes, something may be up with this girl. I have had many broodies, and when they begin to break their regular patterns, it usually signals a shift in their hormones and overall health. Brooding is hard on the system, and it lowers their immune systems.

    I would treat her for mites/lice (which you often can't see) and worm her. Broodies are very prone to overgrowth of both external and internal parasites because they don't take care of themselves by dusting or eating/drinking regularly.

    I agree with Eggcessive on the chick saver and protein boosts, but I would definitely do that on top of treating her for external and internal parasites.

    If you've not used it before, or had resistance build up in your area, Ivermectin cattle pour on (5mg/ml concentration) is a good external and internal parasite treatment. It can work quickly, but you'll need to treat in 7 day increments with a minimum of 2 treatments. For a medium bird, it only takes about 4 to 6 drops (or about 3 to 4mg).

    Then reassess her. If she is still lethargic, something else may be going on. Sadly, as they age, hens are prone to ovarian cancers and other things, especially liver problems. I have had several broodies slowly go down hill after brooding for a number of seasons.

    Hopefully your little lady will rebound with some TLC.

  4. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2013
    Thanks for all the advice Eggcessive and Lady of Camley. I moved her inside last night so she would be warm and got her to eat a few bites of scrambled egg. She had a few bites of oatmeal and layer this morning. I'm off to Tractor Supply and the Farmers Co-op as soon as they open to see what meds they have for lice and worms. I have some packets of Chick Saver left from some chicks another hen hatched out in August and have put some in her water. I haven't seen her drink anything yet so I may have to break out the dropper and see if I can get some down her. I'll give the yogurt a try too but she has always turned up her beak up at it in the past. Keep your fingers crossed for my girl. Most all of my flock were hatched and raised by momma hens but I hand raised Punkin and this has me really upset. I just glad I'm on vacation this week so I can be home to tend to her.

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