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Author Topic: Despondent hen  (Read 438 times)

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Sinmara

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Despondent hen
« on: September 13, 2017, 19:17 »
I'm not quite sure what's up with one of our hens, Emma. We've got 4 young hens, all of them have been laying quite regularly for about 2 1/2 months. Last month one of them got broody for a week, and after we put her into an isolation cage she came out of it and started laying again. On Sunday we put all four of them into a second enclosure (which is full of grass) while we were mucking out their enclosure and cleaning everything. They've eaten a lot of grass and seemed to enjoy it.

Ever since then Emma has been mostly staying in the coop, sometimes sitting in the nest box, sometimes just being in the coop. I feed them corn and mealworms as a treat (not much, just half a cup full for all of them) and they usually gobble them down, including Emma. Since Sunday she does come out of the coop when she hears us coming, but she only sporadically pecks at the treats, and today she was just walking around the other hens and ignoring the treats.

I picked her up and checked everything - her vent is fine, I couldn't find anything hard around there (no egg is stuck), her eyes looked clear, she was walking around like normal. Her crop was empty though. She drank as well. Oh yes, and she stopped laying eggs :( I couldn't see any mites or worms (I treat them with diamaticious earth).

Not sure what's wrong with her! We thought initially she's broody, but when she comes out of the coop and I get the eggs out, they are cold, so she's not sitting on them.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 19:19 by Sinmara »


grinling

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 19:47 »
If access to grass they will eat less pellets. Mine have been staying in a bit due to the weather as well as sulking as they no longer free range the whole garden. They have also been moulting. The legbars lost tail feathers whereas the maran looks ready for the oven!!
The last one has stopped laying, but yet to moult.
Check under wings for temperature and compare with the others.
Are the eyes clear, clear breathing and if possible look at poo.
Is the run covered and dry or wet?

Sinmara

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 20:00 »
Thanks for the reply :)

We've had a lot of rain and it's pretty muddy in there - the run is half covered and we've put large boards on some tyres so they can run on them and don't have to run in the mud all the time.

Eyes are clear and she's breathing normally - will check for temperature tomorrow.

grinling

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 18:56 »
It could be the weather as mine are not keen on rain or wind. The run with the house has a solid roof and covered half the sides with polytunnel sheeting, the rest is open. They will stay inside the house if very bad weather  :wacko:

ChickInn

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 16:08 »
Hey SINMARA,
You could have been writing about my pullet.
How is your hen?
I checked mine over same as you did, only difference once she was laid down - fluid came out her beak. I just put it down to her crop emptying. It was quite watery.

ChickInn

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 10:23 »
 :(
She died.

Post Moretem suggests compacted digestion.

grinling

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 19:42 »
What food did she have access to chickinn? Do they have access to cut grass?

ChickInn

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 16:51 »
Grinling

Yes unfortunately, i did not know that giving them long grass was a no no!

They always seemed to relish the grass when i gave it to them.

grinling

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 20:37 »
When eating your lawn they peck bits off, whereas if given cut they gorge on it. Cut grass also has a limited use and quickly goes off.
Mine are getting ripe tomatoes, apples and spinach.

If you do decide to let them onto the lawn, train first with mixed corn in a plastic pot (ice cream carton etc). Shaking the pot and scattering corn, makes it more likely to return to a secure run when corn is thrown in.

Sassy

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 15:51 »
When eating your lawn they peck bits off, whereas if given cut they gorge on it. Cut grass also has a limited use and quickly goes off.
Mine are getting ripe tomatoes, apples and spinach.

If you do decide to let them onto the lawn, train first with mixed corn in a plastic pot (ice cream carton etc). Shaking the pot and scattering corn, makes it more likely to return to a secure run when corn is thrown in.

Cut grass can off within an hour especially if warm. The best thing is never to give cut grass.

So sorry about your chook ChickInn  >:(
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

Sinmara

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 07:12 »
:(
She died.

Post Moretem suggests compacted digestion.

oh no, sorry to hear that :(


Sinmara

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2017, 07:14 »
Hi all - sorry for the late response!

Well, it turns out she was broody after all. We dealt with it by putting her into a separate dog crate within their enclosure, and let her out after 3 days. She started laying a week later again.

Then another hen got broody 2 weeks later.... and last week the same hen that got broody the first time around was broody again!

Putting them into the dog crate for 2 nights seems to do the trick though.


New shoot

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2017, 08:06 »
Broodies can be a pain, but it sounds like you have a good system for dealing with them  :)

Sassy

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2017, 11:45 »
It usually takes more than 2 or 3 days to cure broodiness. Time is needed for hormones to get back to normal. Although if she was laying again it does suggest this happened. If you wanted broody hens you wouldn't get them!  :nowink:

Sinmara

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Re: Despondent hen
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2017, 20:15 »
It usually takes more than 2 or 3 days to cure broodiness. Time is needed for hormones to get back to normal. Although if she was laying again it does suggest this happened. If you wanted broody hens you wouldn't get them!  :nowink:

all three times the hens went back to laying after a week, thank goodness :D

we got two new pullets 2 weeks ago and introducing them to the old flock at the moment.



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