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Annabel

Broody hasn't left nest for 3 days

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We are on day 19 of hatching out eggs under a broody and at the beginning (first 10 days), she would get off and walk around for about an hour whilst I covered the eggs and kept them warm or the other broody would sit on them.  Then she started having to be lifted off the nest to eat and drink, poo, bathe etc but would still take her time (about an hour) when lifted but now for the last 3 days she has not left at all and I haven't lifted her due to being at the last stages and what I have read online.  I have offered her drink and food right by her, then lifted bowls of water and placed her beak in it but she still won't drink/eat at all - completely untouched.

Comb is still red and she is alert and growls when I open the nesting box but should I lift her?  I normally think nature knows best and don't want to disturb her eggs but wondering how long this can go on.

What do you think?  Anyone had similar experience?

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I don’t think this is unusual behaviour. Keep offering her food and water, and leave the water within easy reach, but I imagine it’ll last until the eggs hatch which should hopefully be about 2 days!

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Thank you for your help (yet again) - I've offered her food and water multiple times today and placed it within about 30 cm of her but she hasn't bothered to go and get it so I am just going to hope the chicks aren't late (we are Day 20 and 1.5 hours) - so hopefully she won't have to endure this much longer!

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soon after I wrote the above - two baby chicks were hatched!  It has now been 4 days since my broody has had any water or food even though I've dipped her beak in it again and offered her meal worms but she isn't getting up.  Her comb looks a bit shrivelled so I am planning on lifting her off the chicks this evening if she still hasn't seen to herself and potentially placing the chicks under the broody next to her.  Do you think this is a good plan?

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How are they getting on ?

Have you managed to get the mum to eat anything yet ?

I have never done chicks and broodies so I can't offer any advice but was just worried about them.

Perhaps you could offer her some live meal worms or maggots -they seem to like eating things that wriggle.

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She really does need to eat and drink. If she won't do this by herself then I would syringe some water and NutriDrops into her.

She's a good broody and they need t osit tight in the last stages of the hatch, but will usually tuck into food and water left by their side.

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