by Kimberly
(Putnam, New York)

Have 15 chickens in a coop/run, one hen refuses to leave her nesting box and is looking weak, not sure which one is having giant puddles of poo! (as big as a fist, greenish/yellow in color) and not sure why, on my 2nd year with them, she is clearly lethargic, I am hand feeding her (or leaving food and water in a small can in her box) and I do not know how to help her! And I am an hour outside manhattan, so, no chicken dr. around here! PLUS its been very hot & humid (keeping them with ample fresh water, cool spots, etc) I can add a probiotic to water, anything else? How to I get her to return to normal.

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by: Sharon

She sounds broody to me. We have information about that in our articles.

A lot of hens go broody this time of year. You may not leave any eggs for her to hatch, but her hormone cycle may be telling her to sit.

I like to keep food and water in the nests when my hens are broody & I want them to hatch eggs. Some hens will rarely get off the nest for the 21 day incubation cycle, and can get very thin.

Hens also may not dirty their nest when broody, so when they do leave, will have a very large stool.

The best way to break their cycle is to remove them from the nest as often as possible. Get them outside in the sun where they can forage and get some exercise. Some hens are tight sitters. They are aggressive if you try to take eggs or move them.

As far as the droppings being large and wet, it could just be part of her cycle. The only way to test droppings for problems is by getting lab work done.

Probiotics are always a good idea, especially if you suspect an imbalance in chicken's digestive system.

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