Special food for pale broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Animalian, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Animalian

    Animalian Songster

    Jun 18, 2011
    I have my first broody on eggs and she's got quite a pale comb. I found mites and treated her for them, so no sign of them anymore, I will be re-treating a day or two before the eggs are due to hatch.

    So my questions:
    Can a slightly paler comb be normal while brooding due to eating less, staying in the (semi)dark, and the inactivity?
    I've heard you should feed them chick starter since they don't need the calcium while brooding, is this true?

    She has chick starter available all day, I have been taking her off her nest at the same time every day and put her in front of the treat bowl so she gets first choice. I've been serving up scrambled eggs with vitamin powder, occasionally adding some oats/molasses/berries/rice. Basically what I'd feed a sick/weak bird. She then runs out to eat grass then to the hopper of layer pellets, has a drink then runs back to her eggs. Her comb always looks a little brighter once she finishes all this.

    Just scared I'm not doing things right. The eggs are due to hatch on Friday and I recently lost two other hens (death by escape/dog attack and put down due to prolapse) so I'd hate for anything to happen to her!!!

    *edited to add: that they were all wormed right before she went broody. As they are twice a year, it was broad spectrum and her poo is normal other than being large and stinky like a typical broodys. So I don't believe worms would be the cause.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

  2. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    It is normal for a broody's comb to be paler. But the fact of the matter is that broodiness is hard on a hen.

    I moisten the chicken food for them. For some reason, adding water makes the regular chicken food a delicious treat, and they will eat more of it.

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