Sick Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bear88, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Bear88

    Bear88 Songster

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Gold Coast
    my silkie went broody and sat on eggs for 3 weeks

    now she is very skinny and does not walk around much.

    how can i fatten her up and get her better again ASAP.

    she seems lethargic and sad.

    she will not eat seed anymore. & can not peck though apple skin. she eat very little and seems to not want to eat more.

    we put her flea and worm stuff on 2 days ago so i don't think she had worms or mites....

    HELP i am so worried about her and i will never leg her sit on eggs again
     
  2. Bear88

    Bear88 Songster

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    Jul 21, 2009
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    sadly she passed away last night

    even with veterinary care she was to skinny [​IMG]

    i think after sitting by herself for 21 days she had lost her mind a little too

    it has been a horrible day today [​IMG]
     
  3. obe10

    obe10 Songster

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    i am sorry about your loss can you save the eggs?
     
  4. Bear88

    Bear88 Songster

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    she got off her eggs at day 21 and we did not get home for about 5 hours .....

    they were cold so we put them under a heat lamp right away and cheeping at them to hope they would start to hatch.

    i think the change in temp from cold to hot was so fast that we killed them [​IMG]

    so we are very upset at ourselves at the moment for not being ready for her to give up on her eggs as well as letting her get so sick.

    we tried everything to save her, sub cut fluids and all but she was depressed from no hatching and so weak from not eating enough [​IMG]

    my boy friend is taking it so hard [​IMG] he thinks because he got her the eggs to sit on when she went broody it is because of him [​IMG]

    we didn't know and we will never again let a chicken go broody
     
  5. obe10

    obe10 Songster

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    again i am sorry *cry* [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. Bear88

    Bear88 Songster

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    3 dead just makes me break inside everytime i think about it
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    There is no way to know what killed her. Actually, letting a broody hatch eggs is often the best way to deal with broodiness. If you are going to have silkies, you are going to have broody hens, so I am concerned at your saying you will never let one go broody again. You cannot stop this from happening, as it is a hormonal thing; you can only deal with it. She could have died from something totally unrelated to broodiness, from what you have told us.

    When a hen is broody, sometimes you have to make sure they eat and drink once a day. Usually they will do this on their own, but occasionally, one will indeed starve herself to death unless you intervene.

    If you don't let a broody set on fertilized eggs and raise chicks, you need to break them, usually with a wire cage, which does not always work. With my broody Kraienkoppe, the only way to deal with her broodiness is to let her hatch eggs, or give her live baby chicks after she has set for the 3 weeks.
     
  8. Bear88

    Bear88 Songster

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    sorry i did not explain myself well

    i am very upset at this moment

    i will break my chickens broodiness because i do not want them gettin skinny and only eating once a day

    what happened with my silkie was that she WOULD NOT eat even her fav food in the end.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    I understand your being upset, and I am sorry you lost your silkie.

    I just wanted you to understand that breaking a silkie of broodiness might not be practical, that it might be better to let her hatch and raise chicks.

    There is really nothing wrong with their eating only once a day; that is normal for a broody. Usually, they will lose some weight, but not enough to be a threat to their health.

    I will tell you my story. My broody is a Kraienkoppe. I caged her while she was setting because she would not get off the nest anyway, and it prevented the others from trying to lay in her nest or otherwise bothering her, which they were doing. I just about cannot stand the idea of caging an animal, but it was obviously just what this one needed, since she sat all day anyway. Of course, I put food and water in the cage (an old large wire dog cage.) The cage was in her usual coop. First morning, when I let the others out of the coop, she got out of the nest, so I opened the cage. She spent about 20 minutes eating, drinking, pooping, and even scratching, then she went back to her nest in the cage. So I closed the cage. That evening (and a few other times) I tried letting her out, but she would not get off the nest, except first thing in the morning. She did continue to do her thing for about 20 minutes every morning. In the afternoon, she would eat a little off my hand. It did not change much during the 21 days. I found one broody poop in the cage, and a few times I think she had eaten or drunk a little of what I kept in the cage, but mostly she did her eating and such in the morning when I opened the cage, as on the first day.

    Kraienkoppes are another breed that, like silkies, are known for being very broody. She is currently raising 3 chicks that I bought from the feed store when the fertilized eggs I bought did not work out. Fortunately, now I have roos, so next time she goes broody, the cage goes back in the coop, and she gets fertile eggs to hatch. She is now raising her chicks with her flock, by the way. I removed the cage when she had chicks to raise.

    Yes, she lost some weight while setting the eggs, but not really that much. After she raised her first chick, she put the weight right back on, and began laying again when the chick was a couple of months old. She is about 1.5 years old now, and this is her third time being broody/setting/raising chicks. The worst thing that happened to her was her second round of being broody, when she had no fertile eggs to hatch. She set for nearly 3 months. I had not found BYC at the time, and did not know what I was doing, and I let her set. That is the only time she lost a disturbing amount of weight. I will never do that again. I will give her eggs, buy chicks, whatever, to let her do her normal thing.

    Your silkie could have died from any number of things. I would just hate to see you not give a broody hen the opportunity to hatch and raise chicks. There are ways to break a broody, but in the end, it seems to me that the healthiest thing to do with a broody is to let them do what comes naturally.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2009
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    using a half melon (or a section of watermelon with a bit scooped out in the middle to make a "bowl" ) as a "bowl" and putting her feed in there (a green or red color is best as this will initiate pecking) has been my solution to stubborn broodies who will not leave nest...
    I can put the feed filled melon (I put a dollop of yogurt on top of the feed too) right next to her... the melon moistens the feed somewhat and is at the same time a source of hydration if she refuses to go the small distance to the waterer
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009

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