Broody Hen In November

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickensfan, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,226
    119
    156
    Jun 26, 2016
    California!
    i need help please.
    my silkie is going broody...except, it's November here in Cali. it is a bit cold, and rains a little.
    every time i walk up to the nest she puffs and growls at me. when she comes out for 1-2 minutes, she acts as if every step hurts her. i feel so bad. she is also getting the classic broody trait, bossiness. she has a mound of eggs she can barely fit under her. she also steals other hen's eggs and keeps them warm. the mound underneath her is getting bigger and bigger. i think she has trouble sitting on them all. she sleeps with them all night. but what if she cant keep them warm in the winter? she isn't even a year old yet!and, she is going to have her first molt soon!
    she has been on the eggs for around 1-3 days straight.
    any advice/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks,
    Marie
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,843
    4,064
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    First question is do you have a rooster in the flock? Without a rooster for mating, the eggs aren't going to ever hatch.
    If you do have fertile eggs, you need to remove all the eggs. Then mark a few and set them under her. Check every single day and remove any contributions from other hens.
    Don't worry about the hen keeping them warm. My broodies prefer brooding in fall, when it's rain and wind almost constantly. The chicks know when they need to warm up a bit under momma.
    This is a glimpse of one of my recent broody clutches at just 1 week old. It was pouring rain the day before and the chicks acted like it was just a normal day. Chicks are really a lot more hardy then a lot of people would have you think.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. tinakevin

    tinakevin Chillin' With My Peeps

    390
    102
    106
    Nov 1, 2015
    New hampahire
    My silkies seem to go broody all the time. The first one was only 6 months old. I do not want chicks this time of year so I break them of it. I just had 3 go broody about 2 weeks ago.
     
  4. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,226
    119
    156
    Jun 26, 2016
    California!
    thank you both for the exellent responses
     
  5. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,226
    119
    156
    Jun 26, 2016
    California!
    and yes, i have a rooster.
     
  6. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,226
    119
    156
    Jun 26, 2016
    California!
    so they are most likely fertile.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,820
    6,970
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,226
    119
    156
    Jun 26, 2016
    California!
    thank you. and yes, i want her to hatch chicks. why would i need to get rid of roos though? would they pick on/hurt the little chicks? i will visit that thread.
    thanks again,
    Marie
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,843
    4,064
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    How many roosters do you currently have? Too many males in a flock, and not enough females, and you end up with very stressed out, over bred hens.
     
  10. Chickensfan

    Chickensfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,226
    119
    156
    Jun 26, 2016
    California!
    well, 2 don't act like roos at all, and are very passive. then the other 2 get along great. the hens are not over mated. they seem quite happy. i have 15 chickens, including the roos. the hens show no signs of stress. they really only get mated on by one roo.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by