Breaking a stubborn silkie's broodiness?


6 Years
Feb 26, 2013
I have a silkie hen that's just over a year old and I believe has become broody for the first time (still fairly new to chickens so its a first for both of us). She lives an unusual life for a chicken - I work at an animal hospital and she travels to work with me and struts around the office several days a week, has kids pet her, etc. She seems happy and content and lays 4 days a week. When not at work, she has a pen outdoors to scratch and roam on nice days and otherwise stays inside the house in a cage.

A few days ago, she stopped laying and began sitting in a corner of her cage on absolutely nothing, wings slightly out, in what I assume is the nesting position. She's not laying in her nest box and she's ignoring the egg I had left in her pen.

I've tried putting her outside with the other two hens and she pecks and chases them a bit, eats a small amount (what seems like a lot less than usual) and eventually ends up in the corner laying down again. Yesterday I found her on top of an egg the other hen had laid outside.

I don't want her broody but how do I break it? A wire bottom crate does no good - that's what she's laying on now despite having a nest box. And moving her out with the other hens is useless. I'm not dunking her in cold water as someone suggested, is there anything else I should try?

And lastly, should I be worried? She doesn't seem to follow the normal pattern of a broody hen sitting on an egg in her nestbox.

Thanks in advance!

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
Well, with you taking her to work, she wouldn't have normal brooding behavior. I don't have silkies, but I think it will be extremely difficult to break one. They are a very broody breed.

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