Chickens Health Issues

Broody Patches

The temperature dropped overnight and I was awake listening to terrible rain and thunderstorms.  We went to sleep with humidity and temperatures in the mid-eighties.  We woke to a, dare I say, chilly breezy morning.  It was 62 degrees F with little humidity.  The chickens could not have been happier.  They stayed nice and dry in the coop during the night and I am sure welcomed the rain and the drop in temperature.  

Taking advantage of the cooler air, I cleaned out the coop.  There are no more signs of mites on the girls or in the coop.  I think sometimes despite your best efforts and hygienic measures, like head lice, anyone can get them.  As I removed the broody girls from their nesting boxes, they were not happy.  As expected, I was met with pecking, growling and fluffed out feathers.  One of our broody Silkies, Feathers, now  has a large broody patch on her chest.  This is where she has removed almost all of her chest feathers.  Broody hens do this to keep their eggs closest to their skin, to maintain better humidity and temperature.  Poor Feathers, she even removed the feathers covering her crop.  Her naked chest looks like it has a mini-ping pong ball sitting on it.  It is even more of a sight to see, as her skin is black in color.

They ran around like crazy once locked out of the coop.  Oyster Cracker kept squawking at me.  It turns out she had to lay an egg.  Once I finally did let them back in the coop, she quickly ran into the nesting box with Autumn and Feathers trailing right behind.  After I put away the cleaning supplies, I returned to the coop and lifted up the cover of the nesting boxes.  There all three boxes were occupied by Oyster Cracker, Autumn and Feathers.  Standing in front of them was Sunshine.  As you know, she has been very curious about the egg laying process.  One by one, like an assembly line, she would reach her head underneath of each girl and check for an egg.  I am not quite sure what she plans on doing once someone does in fact lay an eggs, but I sure do enjoy watching.  The best part, is that they do not even care that I am there.  They just continue on doing what they do best, being broody.  No other hens have broody patches right now, but that certainly explained all of the feathers I cleaned up today while sweeping out the coop.

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