Stressed Chicken?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KatieG509, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. KatieG509

    KatieG509 Hatching

    Jan 5, 2017
    Westminster, Colorado
    Hello! We have a small flock of 4 chickens. One of our Australorps has been broody, so she's been separated from the other chickens until she works out her issues. We decided to separate her the other day when our other 3 birds would not go into the coop- they were definitely afraid of her (I think she was going after the other chickens).

    One of our other chickens, our California White, seems to be depressed or stressed out. She seems to have bared the brunt of the broody hens attacks, and definitely has some pecking wounds on her comb. Her tail is droopy and she seems a little lethargic. I also thought her comb looked a little pale yesterday. She will perk up if we let the chickens out of the run to range in our yard, and she is still eating and drinking water. She is still laying eggs, her poop looks normal, and I didn't see any signs of crop issues.

    We let the broody Austrolorp out in the yard to range with the other chickens yesterday, and the White's mood noticeably changed while the Australorp was out. She immediately stopped wandering around the yard and her tail drooped.

    Is she just stressed from being around the broody hen? Should I be worried about something else?

    Thank you!

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Unfortunately it can be hard to say. Her symptoms are unspecified, and could mean anything.

    I would put your broody hen in a wire bottomed crate to break her broodiness. About 3 days usually does it. Elevate the crate slightly off the ground so your hens bottom cools off which will break her. Feed and water her in the crate and keep her in there for the full 3 days. Sometimes it takes as many as 5 days, but most take 3.

    A broody hen is disruptive to the flock and it's draining on the hen, so it's kinder to break her quickly, and return everything to normal.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    She may be the 'low bird' and feel better when she has room, when ranging, to get out of her superiors way.

    How big is your coop...are they crowded when confined?
    That can make things worse for the low bird.

    What's the plan for the to break her soon if you don't want her to hatch some chicks.

    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.

    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.

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