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A broody chook and crop problems and differing advice..phew!

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Well, Nancy has been broody now for a week and I'm finding it very tough. I've had advice from Omlet saying cold water baths and advice from the vet saying warm water baths. Very confusing. So I rang a local chicken breeder who said she'd never heard such nonsense and to put them in water is ridiculous!!! What she said was to put her in a large box with bunched up wire mesh to make it uncomfortable for her to sit down. Give her food and water and wait for her to give up. *sigh*


As I've got 3 other girls who need to get on the nest (she steps on their heads if they're trying to get in to lay!) i've locked nancy out of the run today to free range with food and water and shelter from the rain. She seems to be eating which is great and is walking about lots.


Any further words of advice in case this is totally the wrong thing to do?!?? Just figured it may be easier than building a box and also will keep an eye out in case she starts nest building. No signs yet.........


i think this all started as she couldn't get in to lay :( peach has an impacted crop (which is wahy i was at the vets and asked about broody nancy at the same time). I was isolating peach in the run and nancy freaked out when she couldn't get in and has been broody since. I feel really awful about them both at the moment as the prognosis for peach doesn't look good :( She's on liquid paraffin 3 times a day with massage at the moment. So fingers crossed that will get whatever is stuck out as there is no way we can afford xrays and surgery :( Am very sad but trying to stay positive :)


Jules x

p.s. thanks to all who advised on peach's crop condition over the last week

GNR Peach

GNR Fudge

PP PeeWeeFluff

PP Nancy

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Sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment.


A broody cage is the right way forward - lots of people have success with that. It may seem cruel but a dog crate or other animal carrier is best. Just shutting her out of the eglu is probably not enough as she can still hunker down and keep her breast warm, which is a symptom of broodiness.


Most people find that 3 days and nights in the broody cage is sufficient.


Good luck with your girls

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i don't like the sound of bunched up wire mesh :shock:


I got a dog crate from freecycle and just shut a broody in that with her nether regions on the mesh floor of the crate when she sat. she'll get the idea eventually.


by the way, on the topic of broodies. My OH was told by some old-timer that the best way of 'de-broodying' a chook was not only to confine to a dog crate type cage (wire/metal all round) but then to suspend the cage several feet off the ground :shock::shock: . Apparently the chook will realise that it would be too dangerous to hatch her invisible eggs off the ground and go off the idea herself.... hmmm :anxious: not convinced but if anyone fancies giving it a go and letting us know? :whistle:

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Laurmurf I've heard of people putting the crate up on bricks, but I've not heard of hanging it from the roof!


I'm pretty convinced that the reason it works quicker this way is simply because the air flow around the chook is much better. This way cools her warm little breast faster, causing her to feel less broody.


I think the person who told you about them being scared to hatch their eggs etc was thinking too much or having you on, they're chickens, not people!! :lol:

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Oh how funny! Sounds like a chicken pinata!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'll put the dog cage on bricks methinks. remembered my friend has one - yaaay - so have managed to borrow it. The universe is obviously aspiring to help me at last!


On the crop front, a famished Peach had some maggots this morning and has eaten this evening. She's very perky but still not laying and the hardness inside the crop isn't shifting :( The vet, who wants around £200 to chop it open and empty it, said to take her back on Thurs for a check up but i think not. She's not improving and I cant afford sirgery so am waiting for a chicken breeder to come back to me with further advice. My neighbour has also found lots of reports on forums about doing their own crop surgery. URK! Anyone heard of this?????


Thanks so much for all your help guys and gals. you've cheered me up with your comments today and I feel like Broody Nancy has hope and that the clock is no longer ticking for Peach Poorly Crop - there must be another way. She's far too happy and unpoorly the last few days! :)


Night night

J x x x x

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I believe 3 days and nights in a broody cage usually works.


Back to the impacted crop - I wouldn't risk surgery on a crop unless it was done by a vet. You would need to cut the skin and the crop, empty it and then re-stitch it all back up. Not a job for me! :anxious::anxious: Plus, the crop impaction could be further down and it has backed up into the crop.


The maggots do work really well. keep up the good work and good luck with the broody hen :D

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Thanks for your reply. Gave Peach some maggots yesterday and....the hard lump has turned squishy!!! However, she has since stuffed her face this morning and this evening and has been a bit low again and the crop is big but squishy. perhaps I should try maggots again tmorrow and restrict how much food she is eating while carrying on with the liquid paraffin or olive oil? They normally have the grub there all day so maybe i could just give them a bowl morning and evening. Any thoughts gratefully received?


nancy is brooding quietly in the cage and is perched on the rim of her incredibly large makeshift food bowl!


J x

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