Broody chicken or scared chicken???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brittlyn4, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. brittlyn4

    brittlyn4 New Egg

    May 18, 2016
    Hey everyone! I'm still pretty new to the chicken game, so I'm trying to figure out what's going on with my chickens. We have a silkie that just began laying eggs a few months ago. Now all of the sudden she won't leave her nesting box. She's not really mean when we take her out, but she hates it when we force her out. I've checked her over and I don't notice anything wrong with her, but once we get her out to run around we have an Easter egger that just goes after her aggressively. Once the Easter egger starts the others start too. The chickens are free range and have been raised together. My question is, is our silkie staying in the nesting box because she's broody, or because she's just hiding from the other chickens? We have had some crazy weather here lately, and my husband thought she was staying in her nesting box because she was just cold. She does act a little itchy when we get her out, but it's also been windy, and none of the other birds are acting like there's a problem. They are all free range birds, but we lock them up at night. We have two silkies, one B.O. one barred rock and one Easter egger. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey brittlyn4

    Hhhm, tough one when we are not there to see what she is doing and what her normal chickenality is.

    She could be either unwell, scared or broody as you have suggested.

    Possibilities are:

    * The others are just picking on her because she has been AWOL in the nest box for a while. However, I have a broody hen who gets along fine with the rest of the flock when not broody but tends to be picked on when she is. She tends to walk around all puffed up and while not intentionally doing so, I believe she makes the others believe she is being defensive/defiant and she gets told off and put in her place.

    * The others may be picking on her because they sense she is unwell.

    * She is scared and is hiding.

    It can all be a vicious circle [​IMG]

    However, Silkies are prone to broodiness and if she has been laying for a few months, she could just be ready for a hatch and broody.

    If you place an egg in front of her in the nest box what does she do? If she uses her beak to roll it and tuck it under herself, this is usually a good sign that you have a broody on your hands. If she is hiding or unwell, she probably would not do this.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    She sounds broody to me. Silkies are often less vocal when broody than other breeds. They tend to play possum instead. Other hens will attack a broody because she's acting odd.
  4. brittlyn4

    brittlyn4 New Egg

    May 18, 2016
    Hmmm, she did eventually move the dummy egg underneath her, and she's completely puffed up. When we get her out she's puffed up too. Is that normal with a broody hen? Sorry for all the questions, I've never had a broody hen before. My Easter egger is relentlessly attacking her though, so I'm just not sure. Thank you for all of your responses!
  5. MiddleWoods

    MiddleWoods Just Hatched

    Jan 4, 2017
    If you pick her up and put her down and she just melts onto the ground in a flat pile of fluff, that is broody :)
  6. tinakevin

    tinakevin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2015
    New hampahire
    I had to separate my bantams from my standards for that reason. The big girls were bullying my silkies. I have 4 silkies and they take turns going broody. They r never aggressive towards me when they r broody but they do fluff up and yell at me lol. I am constantly putting one in the broody buster because I do not want chicks till the spring. Gotta love the silkies tho. They r so adorable

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by