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Help! Hen won't leave nest box!  

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Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:13 pm

Hi everyone

Would really appreciate some advice please.

Had our ex-batts 4 weeks, all been great. Then got home today to find that Henrietta has been sitting on the nest box all day! She doesnt seem ill, is alert and moving etc, does this mean she has gone broody?!???

I've no idea what to do - should I lift her out of the nest box, or leave her alone??
heatherjulia
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:15 pm

She could be broody. I would take her out and see what happens.
PP Beakers Black Rock Arrived 20.5.10 First egg 8.6.10
(Bluebelle) Spike Speckledy Arrived 20.5.10 First egg 13.6.10
(white chicken) Poachy Amber Star Arrived 20.5.10 First egg 22.6.10
Barbara Light Sussex Arrived 31.7.10 First egg 21.01.11
Gerry Cream Legbar Arrived 31.7.10 RIP 25.10.10
Margo Ancona Arrived 31.7.10 First egg 30.01.11 RIP 6.5.11
2 cats, 3 kids.

www.siobhanwatsonplanning.co.uk
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migsy
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:35 pm

If she assumes position pancake (ie all spread out), clucks in an annoyed fashion when you investigate and possibly tries to peck you .....she's broody! She may not have acquired all these symptoms yet if its early days, but she will :lol: Otherwise keep an eye on her to make sure she isn't ill or egg bound.
Daphne
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:03 pm

Thanks for your replies.

I'm getting worried now - no idea how to tell if she is ill or not??

She doesnt have any of those symptoms of broodiness that you described. I lifted her out of the nest box and put her on the lawn with the other girls. She was really sleepy and dopey, stood still for ages, then very slowly walked back into the run and the house, and got back onto the nest box. She really didnt look right.

Now she is in there all puffed up and blinking slowly.

No idea what to do! I dont want to keep taking her out of the nest box in case she is ill rather than broody!
heatherjulia
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:36 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:08 pm

My hen was broody earlier in the week and at first she just stayed in the nest box. Then she got agitated if I tried to take her out by puffing herself up and making squarking noises. It could be the start of being broody and when they are broody they will go back to the nest box if you take them out. Keep an eye on her for 24 hours. They don't seem to eat much when broody either. Try not to worry! :?
PP Beakers Black Rock Arrived 20.5.10 First egg 8.6.10
(Bluebelle) Spike Speckledy Arrived 20.5.10 First egg 13.6.10
(white chicken) Poachy Amber Star Arrived 20.5.10 First egg 22.6.10
Barbara Light Sussex Arrived 31.7.10 First egg 21.01.11
Gerry Cream Legbar Arrived 31.7.10 RIP 25.10.10
Margo Ancona Arrived 31.7.10 First egg 30.01.11 RIP 6.5.11
2 cats, 3 kids.

www.siobhanwatsonplanning.co.uk
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migsy
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:36 pm

She does not sound broody - Broody hens are full of life when you lift them off - they try to peck you or if they are very nice they will cope with you lifting them off the nest and the moment your back is turned run full pelt back into the nesting box.
Personally I would take her out of the house and keep her somewhere warm and dry - something like a cat carrier.
Feed her corn as it will keep her warmer and fuller and plenty of water and see how she is. Perhaps a little poultry tonic or ACV in her water would help pick her up...
Remember if she is an ex bat she has had a big shock moving - however nice out of a cage into freedom and sometimes there are problems.
Keep her warm and dry and well fed and if she does not pick up in another day I would consider taking her to the vet.
Mum to Lemon Millefleur Sablepoots, Croad Langshans, Cream legbars, Araucanas, Marans, Silkies and Polands... 'you can't beat a hug from a croad
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bevmatt
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box! Very sad update...

Post Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:52 am

Thanks for your replies, I'm afraid I have some really sad news.

Shortly after I left my last message on here on Friday, we brought her indoors in a box with some straw and food and water so we could keep an eye on her. She wasn't eating or drinking though and seemed to be getting worse, so I phoned an emergency vet. We were about to take her in when we lost her. It was really awful, and we were absolutely shocked and devastated.

She had settled so well into her new life, and had seemed perfectly well and healthy. She was also the friendliest of our girls from day 1 and we were very attached to her.

Later on, we took her into the vet and said our goodbyes. He examined her but said he could see no obvious signs of illness, so we will probably never know what the cause was.

It's not been an easy start to chicken-keeping…
heatherjulia
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:10 am

I lost one of my four ex-bats at 5 weeks. Some girls are just worn out- but she died in a better place than the one she came from. So sorry

Tricia
Patricia W
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:17 am

I'm sorry to hear this :(

Its never easy, but unfortunately its something we all have to go through. Hens can fall ill and die quite quickly without any/many obvious symptoms till its too late and in these cases you can't do anything about it. Good husbandry is all about keeping an eye on them so you know if something is up, and can try to intervene - but it doesn't always work. You knew something was unusual (which is half the battle) but unfortunately nothing could be done. I'd carry on keeping an eye on the rest of your girls just in case.

The good news is that you gave your girl a happy home and her freedom; thats a tremendous amount.
Daphne
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:42 pm

Really sorry to hear about your hen. Sometimes the stress of the move is a bit much for the constitutions of these hard-working ex-batt girls. At least she had somewhere safe and quiet to end her days after a brief but nice period of retirement in her new home. Nevertheless it is really sad to lose an animal at any time. We lost one of our BHWT ex-barn hens on Saturday and although she wasn't the first, it is still a traumatic experience to deal with.

Sorry your early experiences of chicken keeping have been upsetting. I hope your future experiences are happy ones and your other hens enjoy a long and contented retirement.

skye x
(cube green) featuring...
1 x PP Yolko, arrived 15-8-07
1 x Bluebelle Bella, arrived 31-5-08
1 x Amber Star Lily, arrived 31-5-08
1 x Buff Orpingtons Roxy, arrived 5-7-09
1 x Barred Plymouth Rock Hybrid, arrived 20-11-11
1 x Light Sussex Hybrid, arrived 20-11-11
1 x Skyline Hybrid, arrived 20-11-11

(green eglu) spare for intros/poorly girls/possible future hatching
skye
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Re: Help! Hen won't leave nest box!

Post Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:45 pm

Thanks guys, I really appreciate all your kind words.

I know the BHWT warn that this can happen after just a few weeks, but you know what it's like, you just don't think it will happen to any of yours! I am glad that she had a few happy weeks and experienced everything that she did with us, but I can't help but feel she deserved so much more. Life is cruel sometimes.

So sorry you lost one in the same way Tricia, and one of yours on Saturday Skye. Hope you are ok xXx
heatherjulia
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