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!
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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