Will a hen starve herself

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by balbrt1, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. balbrt1

    balbrt1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2013
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    When she is broody? It has been about 10 days since my hen went broody. She will set on litter a wire cage bottom or her roost. If I take her outside (she is a house hen about 9 1/2 months Serama) or let her in the house she will eat and drink. If any of the above she will not eat or drink. She really just wants to eat scratch or oats and not her crumbles. Also hates pellets. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, occasionally a broody doesn't get up from the nest at all, and starves. But since yours is eating something, that's probably not what is happening here. They will eat foods they like better, like scratch, over regular feed, and sometimes they will leave pellets when they would rather have crumbles. You need to offer only her feed. If she's gotten thin, try moistening a little of it to encourage her to get started again, a few times maybe, til she starts eating again. When she starts eating her feed, you can give some scratch again, but it shouldn't be available all the time. Just give a handful to the flock as a treat, once a day at most. If they like oats that well, you'll have to treat it like scratch, I suppose.
     
  3. balbrt1

    balbrt1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2013
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    Thank you for your advice. I was afraid if I did not intervene she may starve. That is why in take her out of her cage to feed her. She has lost from 10.9 ozs to 10.5. I weigh her every other day since she has gone broody. She just got her first bath in 2 months. She likes the dirt baths alot outside Water was very dirty lol. I do not give her treats inside her cage. That is one way I got her so tame was treats out of her cage from my hand.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Most will get up and get something to eat/drink when they need it. There are a few stubborn ones that will sit until they die. I have a hen that has been broody all summer - she gets up and gets what she needs then back to the nest. She will not accept the babies and crushed her eggs, so she gets nothing.

    A friend of mine has a hen that she almost lost, she had been broody 4 times that year and was not taking care of herself. She found her bleeding from the eyes, because she was so dehydrated that her eyelids stuck shut. She was bumping into everything because she could not see. She put some ointment on it and forced her eating and drinking until she recovered.
     
  5. balbrt1

    balbrt1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Illinois
    Poor thing. Gabby will eat and drink if she is not in her cage. Guess will just have to keep her loose. Thank you for the info.
     

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