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Mama silkie getting picked on...please help!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I have a bantam silkie that just went broody 4 days ago. Because of the very cold nighttime lows, I bring her, and the roo in at night, then let them both out during the day.

Since she's gone broody, she doesn't want to leave her nest. At all. I take her outside to eat and do her business, and mostly so the other chickens won't forget her.

The problem is that she doesn't want to stay out there long enough and goes to the coop when she's done eating. The head chicken is making sure her rank isn't threatened, and the new roo is trying to take her place in rank. One other chicken doesn't bother her.

I stand out there with a rake to shoo them away when they attack her. They stay away if I stand there, but the second they think I'm gone, they start attacking.

What can I do to ease things? Fence them off while she eats? Or fence her to keep her outside a little longer? Or maybe take her ouside several times a day? I probably answered my question, but any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Edited by bonniethesilkie - 1/8/16 at 11:26am
post #2 of 4

If she is broody (are you sure that it's broodiness and not just taking refuge from the other chickens?) and you don't have any intention of letting her hatch eggs then the kindest thing to do is to break her of her broodiness. This can be achieved by placing her in a wire or slatted bottomed small cage with food and water but no bedding, chocked up off the ground so there is air flow underneath. Make sure she has a roost in the cage so she is not standing on cold wire. This will solve your problem of her getting plenty to eat without getting attacked by the others but maintain her contact with the flock. After a couple of days, let her out and if she goes straight to her nest, put her back in the cage and try again the next day.

I'm not sure why you felt it necessary to bring her and the rooster into the house on a night... chickens can withstand pretty cold weather as long as they are dry and draught free. You stand more chance of them becoming ill from the change in temperature from indoors to outside.


Good luck with her



post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi Barbara. Thank you for your input. Yes, I do intend on letting her hatch, otherwise I would have continued to take her eggs. I decided to bring her in just because I did. I honestly rather not give my chickens heat or otherwise, but we had very cold temps and one of my silkies died. The silkies are pets. I'll take your advice and cage her outside with the flock but do it 3x a day. Thank you so much! Beth
post #4 of 4

If you are wanting her to hatch eggs then rig up a cage with her nest and eggs in it. She needs to sit on the eggs 24/7 for 21 days to incubate them, with just 10 mins a day at this time of year to get off, have a poop and a bite to eat and get back on them..... in the summer, they can be off longer as the eggs don't get cold so quickly. I have an old small cupboard in the hen house that I put my broody hens in with their nest of eggs. I drilled a few holes in the door to let a little light and ventillation in but it's still pretty dark. I open the door once a day for them to get off and do chores whilst I supervise their feeding and interaction with the flock and then when they head back to the nest, I open the cupboard door to let them onto it and close it again. If they choose the wrong nest, which they do for the first couple of days, I wait until they settle and then pick them up and put them on their nest in the cupboard and close them in.... I make sure they have access to food and water in the cupboard although they don't eat much. Broody hens really like the peace and quiet of being locked away and go into a sort of trance. The act of opening the door and letting the light in, triggers them to get off the nest and poop and feed within a minute or two and they quickly get into a routine of it. Whilst they are off the nest I close the cupboard door so that other hens can't lay in their nest and then, as I said previously I, open it as soon as the broody heads back to the hen house. If that is the only nest in the hen house with eggs in they will usually go for it anyway.

All my chicks are reared like this within a large free range flock and even though my broody hens are low in the pecking order I have no problems with bullying.


Winter is not a great time to be raising chicks, especially if you have such a cold climate, but if you are determined to hatch some now then I would only give her four or five.


Not sure if you are aware, but breaking her from being broody now, will not stop her from becoming broody again in the Spring/summer when conditions are more favourable for raising chicks.

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