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10 month old broody silkie hen. Do I have to do anything??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nkkennedy, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. nkkennedy

    nkkennedy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
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    My Coop
    My 10 month old silkie, Emmy Lou, has just gone broody. Do I need to give her any special treatment?

    Currently I have 8 hens who are all laying. For the last few days my silkie just sits on the eggs all day and makes a funny noise (which I read is normal). I do take the eggs out from underneath her each day and leave her with a golf ball. Will she snap out of this on her own? Is it okay to let her continue on this way? We have no rooster so these eggs will never hatch.

    She will get up about once a day to eat. Do I need to do anything in particular for her? Should I kick her out of the coop for a couple minutes if I don't see her going out enough?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The only thing you really have to do is change the feed to something besides layer after the chicks hatch, and of course have the feed and water where the chicks can get at it.

    Things do go more smoothly for a hen trying to hatch chicks of she is separated while she is setting. This way she won't go back to the wrong nest, no one will move eggs around, etc. The chicks should be able to grow up in the flock; there is some risk doing this, but generally it works fine, and of course is the way chickens would normally do it.

    She should get off the nest and eat, drink and poop at least once a day. I like to lift the off and make them move around for a few minutes, just to be sure, as wellas get a little more food into them, as they do lost weight while setting. Occasionally a hen will not get up at all, and even die on the nest. She is likely to do her daily exercising/eating when you are not looking. If you choose to leave her alone, you might check under her for poop. The norm is that when she gets up for her daily outing, she makes one big, stinky "broody poop." She shouldn't poop in the nest while setting, so if she does, that's a sign she's not getting up like she should.
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If you don't intend to let her hatch eggs, you should break her. You can place her in a wire bottom cage with food and water (no bedding). Leave her in for a few days, it usually does the trick but sometimes the more stubborn hens need one or two more rounds.
    Sitting is hard on their little bodies. They don't eat or drink much and they loose weight. They're also more susceptible to parasites since they spend alot of time just sitting there.
    She's adorable, good luck!
     
  4. nkkennedy

    nkkennedy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
    St James, New York
    My Coop
    Thanks! Yeah we don't have a rooster so she will not be raising any little chicks! As cute as that might be. She has been coming out every morning when I open the coop up but when I go back in later in the day I find her back on the nest.

    Maybe I will try locking her out out of the coop for a couple days. I let my chickens free range but also have a covered pen they can go in for shelter food and water...maybe I will just pull the ramp away so the other girls can jump in to lay eggs ...but she won't be able to make it up. Do you think that will stress her out more?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Since she's coming out every morning, I wouldn't worry a lot about it. The best approach is probably the wire cage thing, though even that doesn't alwys work. The only really dependable method is giving them eggs to hatch, or day old chicks. Keeping her out of the coop may work out well for you. I wouldn't worry about stressing her by keeping her away from the nests. They will sit down anywhere if the urge to nest is strong enough. If you can keep her moving well enough that she doesn't start losing weight, that may be the best you can do.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I do not know of a human woman who would consent to be pregnant for years on end. A hen who is laying is not pregnant, she is ovulating or producing eggs. Hen chickens aren't pregnant unless they are broody and sitting. I think that continued broodiness to no affect is detrimental to a hen's health and contributes to pest like chicken mites and lice. If she was my hen I would break her from the notion of sitting until I was ready to hatch some chicks then I would consider if I wanted to give her eggs to brood, that is if she was ready to brood them.

    Any hen, and I mean ANY hen that comes off the nest EVERY morning to eat is not serous about sitting nor will she make a good brooding hen if given valuable eggs. I think that she is "playing house" like young girls play house, as it were. A brooding hen doesn't lay eggs, so whose eggs are you collecting from under your sitting hen, and how many eggs have you found under her.
     
  7. nkkennedy

    nkkennedy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
    St James, New York
    My Coop
    Thanks for your input! She is sitting on the rest of my girls eggs. I have 8 hens who lay right now..so each day she is sitting on 4-7 eggs. Since she is not a great egg layer in general its hard for me to tell when she is laying. Some times her eggs resemble my two young barred rocks eggs. Hers are usually smaller but the rocks' eggs tend to vary in size. I will keep a closer eye on the eggs to see if she is laying.

    This morning she did come right out of the coop when I opened the door and it looks like she is out there now..but heading back in.
     
  8. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ehm.... won't the hen suffer or die if she DOESN'T leave the nest to eat, drink & poop every morning?
    I don't think a sick / dead hen makes a good broody....

    And she would be brooding a mixture of eggs if she is in with other hens, sometimes hens will steal eggs from the laying hens or the laying hens will lay where she is sitting when she leaves the nest.
     
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    EVERY broody hen should get up once a day to eat, drink, maybe dust and defecate. I'd consider a hen I have to remove every day a less than desirable brooder. The whole reason I let them sit is so I don't have to be involved, that's not the case if I have to make sure she isn't pooping on her eggs. And, I've had several hens that continued to lay as they were sitting (in small dog crates and wire cages, so I doubt they were anyone elses eggs). They ended up with chicks, so I think they were pretty serious. Just like people, each chicken is an individual.
     
  10. nkkennedy

    nkkennedy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
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    My Coop
    Yeah she is sitting on everyone else's eggs. Although I have more then one nesting box all my ladies tend to lay on the same side. I have been going out a couple times a day and forcing her out. She hangs for a little while and then wonders back in.
     

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