This May Be Nothing, But...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jmurcks, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Jmurcks

    Jmurcks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My three hens are broody. They have been for at least two months. Could be close to three...

    I noticed that their combs are really pale looking. None of the other chickens are, just the broody hens.
    Could they be sick or is this normal for broodys?
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia, WA
    Letting them stay broody for that long can be very hard on them. They don't take very good care of themselves when they are broody and while it's rare a determined broody hen can get so run down on the nest that she dies. If I'm not going to put fertile eggs under mine or foster day old chicks on them I break them. I just don't see any good reason to let them sit there getting run down (and not producing eggs) if we don't need chicks.

    Here's a good thread on how to break a broody. When I do let mine set I like to give them some scrambled eggs every couple of days, they'll usually eat them even if they're so tranced out that they're ignoring their other food so it's a good way to help them stay in condition. You might want to try giving your girls the scrambled eggs and maybe a few drops of poly-visol along their beaks for a couple of days too.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=181289&p=1

    Another thing you'll want to do is to check them over really well for mites/lice. They're much more vulnerable to parasites when they spend so much time on the nest (not as much dust bathing etc.) and even more so when they start losing condition.

    I think if you baby them a bit and put them in a broody breaker for a few days they'll recover and be just fine.
     
  3. Jmurcks

    Jmurcks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did a real good mite check on them and I know they are getting out and eating and drinking at least a few times a day...
    They actually are sitting on some eggs now from another one of the hens who isn't broody so I do hate to break them but for their health of course I would.

    I was just afraid that they may be sick or something even though besides the paleness show no other symptoms.

    Could they possibly have worms?
    I have never wormed them before... should I?

    I will offer them the scrambled eggs... where do you get the poly-visol?
    Thanks!
     
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Worms are possible, you cab take a sample to the vet and get a fecal float done. It's not very expensive and then you would know what you are dealing with. You could also just treat them, it won't hurt anything and you don't need to worry about withdrawl times since they're not laying any eggs right now anyhow. If you opt to just treat them do a search and see what you can find that is not put in the water since the dosage will not be right as they don't drink a "normal" amount while brooding eggs.

    I've had good luck with the scrambled eggs so hopefully it will work well for you too. Another thing I do is keep a higher protien gamebird feed (chick starter is good too) out for them so that they're getting the most bang for their buck with what little they do eat. Poly-visol is an infant vitamin and you should be able to find it at most pharmacies, be sure to get the kind WITHOUT iron.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    That's four times the normal period a hen sets on eggs. Broodiness in and of itself literally burns them out. Since they've been setting that long, I wouldn't be surprised if the nests are filled with red mites. They can cause severe anemia. If they were mine, I would place them in a wire pen and break their broodiness. Check for mites and dust if necessary.
     
  6. Jmurcks

    Jmurcks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did check for mites but would it hurt to dust them as a precaution?
    I didn't see any but I don't want to take chances with them.

    I figured nature would take over and they would just stop on their own...
    Poor hens, I had no idea!
     
  7. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's normal for broodies. I don't think it's a good idea to just let them be broody unless you want them to hatch something. Force them to be outside in the sun with the others to snap them out of it.
     

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