Chicken question

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10 years 5 months ago #36552 by Topcat
Chicken question was created by Topcat
I have a blue Orpington of un-known age, who doesn't seem to lay she used to but since the weather has really warmed up she just goes to her lovely nest that she has made and sits for half and hour as if she is laying but then nothing. She isn't egg bound and otherwise happy as. the only thing is she gets very hot panting and sitting in the shade, I make sure with all my hens they always have water and plenty of shade as even though we are in Otago these big birds get very hot. This has been happening for a month or so

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10 years 5 months ago #476419 by greenfingers
Replied by greenfingers on topic Chicken question
Sounds broody? My Orpingtons seem to go broody like clockwork - like yours, as soon as the weather really warms up, they stop laying and want to sit on eggs, and it doesn't matter who's eggs they are! I now have one sitting on duck eggs.

9.5 acres with 300-odd pines and lots of wobbly fences [:D]

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10 years 5 months ago #476424 by Newbies
Replied by Newbies on topic Chicken question
My guess is she's broody. Does she cluck and make threatening noises at you when you go near her? Put your hands underneath her - is she featherless? Not having feathers underneath would suggest so.

I have 3 hens that have been wanting to hatch a clutch for a few months now. They come and go but I just keep lifting them off and stealing their eggs until they realise that they aint hatching anything. If you want her laying and not sitting, there are a few tricks you can try, although I never have myself. Google the old wire cage method.

[:D] 10 Hereford X Steers, 4 Ewes, Roger-The-Ram, 8 Hens, Foghorn Leghorn, Axle the Boxer, Duke the Mastiff X & 2 Moggies [:D]

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10 years 5 months ago #476437 by Topcat
Replied by Topcat on topic Chicken question
Not really broody at all, she isn't making the broody noises or sitting for ages, I put a false egg in her nest to encourage her and she doesn't want to sit for hours on end she just goes there at the same time every day sits for half an hour and then leaves and no real advancement on this which has been going on for well over a month? It is like she is thinking of going broody but then never fully gets there

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10 years 5 months ago #476443 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Chicken question
Well she won't lay again, less she isn't able to get to those nesting boxes, and can get herself in the right mind!

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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10 years 5 months ago #476451 by Topcat
Replied by Topcat on topic Chicken question
I don't think she is broody though, well she certainly doesn't act like any of the other when they are. I've had her for a couple of years and she has never been broody yet. Anyone have any other suggestions other than broody :-) Just editied orginal post as I noticed I said she sits for ages which she in fact doesn't, just sits for half an hour same time every day. The nest is not in her house and she never goes back to it after her half an hour sitting, she goes to bed with everyone else. I thought that if she was broody she would stay on the nest as that's what the others do

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10 years 5 months ago #476452 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Chicken question
Maybe too fat?

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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10 years 5 months ago #476453 by Topcat
Replied by Topcat on topic Chicken question
Thanks Sue maybe, is there any way to tell?

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10 years 5 months ago #476455 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Chicken question
Yes, weigh her for starters and see how she compares to the breed standard.
Hen weights in the book I have says, 3.2-3.6 kgs.

Then holding her in one hand, breast resting on your forearm, head towards your elbow, both legs in the same hand as your arm she is resting on, with the other hand take a grasp of what is her abdomen-the flesh between the tip of the breast bone and her vent (where all the bum fluff is) What you feel between your finger and thumb is fat! The wider apart your fingers and thumbs are the more fat there is. Is it hard or squishy like there is fluid in there? If you can get your finger and thumb to about 5 to 8cm apart she is probably OK If more than 10cm, probably fat. As she is of indeterminate age then this may also be a factor to her lack of laying and excess 'condition'!

Sitting in the shade or nest and panting can be a sign that they are fat, or they are finding breathing hard-may even be internal tumours putting pressure on her internal organs. While you have hold of her, check her vent (should be large, pink and moist) if it is pale and shrivelled she isn't laying. The gap between her pin bones which are either side of her vent can be felt. If you can fit 2 to 3 fingers between them she is laying, if only now and then. If they are close together say 1 to 2 fingers apart she isn't laying.

If she is not sitting 24 hrs a day and clucking at you when you disturb her she is not clucky, but just finding a place to rest as she may be feeling unwell.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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