Strange Behavior- Help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 19marvinn, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. 19marvinn

    19marvinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a buff Orp hen who's been what I thought, broody for over a week now. She does not move off of her nest. But today I decided to pick her up out of the nest and put her in the yard and I noticed that she has a big bare spot on her underside like where her stomach is. Is this normal of a broody? I feel bad for the girl. Looks uncomfortable and it's getting cold. Any help is appreciated
     
  2. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is she sitting on any eggs?

    Folks say some chickens will pluck feathers from their chest so they can line the nest and get their skin closer to the eggs and warm them better that way...
     
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you approach the nest does she puff up her feathers and "growl" at you?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes, its normal...they pluck those feathers to increase the contact between the eggs and her warm body.
    It's called a 'broody patch'.
    Don't worry, she won't freeze to death.....
    .....have had several birds go thru winter with bare skin showing where feathers should be.

    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. 19marvinn

    19marvinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes this happens. Thank you
    And no she is not sitting on any eggs. I take them off of her. Thank you all for your help. I'm glad all is normal!
     

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