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sick chicken. Help!

streetsx4streetsx4 Junior Member
edited January 2007 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Dear all, i am a novice to hen keeping but all has been going well untill one of my hens took to their bed! She started to go directly to where she lays in the morning and i don't think coming out much. At first i put this down to the cold, wet and windy weather but now she does not want to go to bed either. I have put her in a large rabbit hutch/run but she is grumpily refusing to stay in the bedding area. Instead sitting on the concrete floor. I have not seen any other signs and all the others are fine (abit fed up with the weather - but who isn't). She is happy to be moved but her comb is paler and not pert. I would hate to play the aiting game if the answer is obvious to the experts! Please help


  • crazychickcrazychick Senior Member
    edited January 2007
    You say that she is going to her laying box (or nest) and refusing to leave? I would guess that she is broody? This means that, after laying several eggs (and depending on the broody nature of the individual hen), the hen will stay on the nest, refusing to leave, and only eating once or twice a day. If you pick her up off the nest, they often are in a trance-like state, then wake up and cluck madly, running around the barn, eating, pooping and then running back to the nest. If you take them away from their nest, they will sulk for about 4 days, and then USUALLY return to normal when you put them back with the flock. Occasionally, a hen is stubborn and returns to her nest after several days of being separated and still tries to hatch her eggs.

    Does this sound like what your hen is doing? Usually, their combs fade somewhat because they aren't eating or drinking normally (nor laying anymore)- as well, parasites like a broody hen as her body temperture increases and she won't move or preen normally.

    If you think she's broody and have some fertile eggs, you may decide to try putting her back on the nest and hatching some chicks!

    If you truly think she's sick, though, and I'm not guessing her diagnosis right, let me know and we'll see if we can work something out!

  • streetsx4streetsx4 Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    Thanks so much for comments - i think i might have paniced abit too early, and it is indeed broodiness (how embarrassing!) Yes, in my original plans i was going to hatch from her but not until Spring, i need to have a quiet word with her about seasons i think. {I was thinking about putting some duck eggs under her too - is this possible, or wise?}
    Anyway, feel very ridiculous now and my husband has that 'i told you so' look on his face!! Thanks so much for kind help.

    all the best,
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited January 2007
    People so put duck eggs under a hen... you have to remember that the eggs are kept moist when under a duck and they are kept dry under a hen.. so you may have problems when it comes hatch time... you have to wet the eggs so the ducklings don't stick in the egg and only use natural bedding for the hen such as straw or hay..
  • streetsx4streetsx4 Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    thanks for that advice re:hatching. I'll see how it goes!
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