1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Broody Silkie WILL NOT LEAVE NEST I am worried

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickenSmitten, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. ChickenSmitten

    ChickenSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    119
    Sep 16, 2008
    Madison Wisconsin
    I am pleased that Roxie is proving to be a great broody, [​IMG] [​IMG] and that our eggs arrived whole and uncracked. ( Thanks peaceof thyme!!!) I will candle on day 10 to see if they got scrambled in the mail or if they were viable. I seperated her into a big plastic dog crate with a nesting box and golf balls 3 days ago and put nine Barnevelder eggs under her yesterday. I have her nest box wrapped up in an old wool blanket, except the opening so it is warmer and less drafty. The dog crate is under a roof in the chicken run on top of straw bales and the run has straw bale and plastic walls. The crate has a metal grid door so the other girls can see in and still smell her... when I put Roxies treats in they clamour to get in too. [​IMG]

    I put a little water dish (and check to be sure it isn't frozen over, so far so good) and a little food dish up in the corners of the nesting box. In the 3 days she has eaten about 2 tablespoons of yogurt and chicken feed mix and a tablespoon of cooked egg and drinks a tiny bit, but she has not left the nest box AT ALL, not even onto the floor of the dog crate with its feeder and waterer and wood shavings floor.

    I am concerned as she has not pooped in or out of the nest box since I put her there. [​IMG] When she got broody in the egg boxes in our coop about two weeks ago she would get off a time or two a day and run around and eat and drink. Usually when another girl pushed her out to lay an egg in 'Her"nest box... I am worried about her hardly eating and it being cold again ( high 20's to 40). [​IMG]

    Should I just assume nature will take its course and keep everything she needs available to her?

    Should I bring the dog crate in the house? ( I would rather not...)

    Should I lift her off her new nest of real eggs every day into her crate, or will the eggs get too cold?

    Should I open the door of the crate into the rest of the chicken world? I think the the other girls will go in and bang around and eat her treats if I do that, and I am not sure she would return into the dog crate on her own...

    Will she really survive and keep herself and the eggs warm on so little food? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks to all for listening to my silly chicken Mom worries.
     
  2. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,516
    17
    223
    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    I wouldn't stress it. My broody gets off her nest maybe once a week, and eats as if she never ate before, drinks, and is back on the eggs within 2 minutes. I think she knows that she's doing. Mine's on day 13 now.
     
  3. ChickenSmitten

    ChickenSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    119
    Sep 16, 2008
    Madison Wisconsin
    Thanks for the reassurance, that kind of thinking was my general tendancywith the girls, but now seeing her in there and it getting cold and snowing again set me off! [​IMG]
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,945
    3,103
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Should I just assume nature will take its course and keep everything she needs available to her?

    She will eat, drink, and get up to poop when she needs to.

    Should I bring the dog crate in the house? ( I would rather not...)

    Sounds like she should be comfortable where she is.

    Should I lift her off her new nest of real eggs every day into her crate, or will the eggs get too cold?

    You can lift her off if you wish. It is normal for a hen to leave the nest for a time period, maybe 15 minutes or more, to eat, drink, and poop while brooding a clutch of eggs if you don't confine her. They don't cool off too much. By disturbing her and lifting her off, especially if she resists, you take the risk of her breaking an egg. When I was growing up on the farm many, many years ago, we never confined a broody. She always stayed on her nest with the rest of the flock. Every day, I'd have to throw the broody of the nest to check for new eggs under her. This never caused a problem.

    Should I open the door of the crate into the rest of the chicken world? I think the the other girls will go in and bang around and eat her treats if I do that, and I am not sure she would return into the dog crate on her own...

    Many people certainly let their broody's out of confinement on a daily basis to eat, drink, and poop. If you do, you need to stick around to make sure she goes back to the right nest and not her old one.

    Will she really survive and keep herself and the eggs warm on so little food? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    She will eat as much as she needs to. Your job is to see that she has the choice of food and water in front of her. She'll make that choice.
     
  5. ChickenSmitten

    ChickenSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    119
    Sep 16, 2008
    Madison Wisconsin
    Thank you that helps open up some options and confirm the mother nature theory!
     
  6. peaceful

    peaceful Chillin' With My Peeps

    241
    0
    119
    Jun 24, 2008
    BC Canada
    You could offer her food and water at the nest daily or twice daily, and gently remove any droppings.
     
  7. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    My hen also refuses to leave the nest so I help her out. I bring her food and water to her nest and remove poo she leaves in the nest. The best I can... She will be ok you may just have to cater to her a bit.
     
  8. ChickenSmitten

    ChickenSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    119
    Sep 16, 2008
    Madison Wisconsin
    Thanks for all of the help! I will check and remove poo, and she did eat about 1/4 cup of feed today while I sat there feeding everyone else goodies. It is easy to keep little cups tucked in the corners of the nesting box by her head with food and water.
    I feel much more confident in the situation now with all of your helpful input! She is so careful, checking and shifting her eggs to keep them warm. [​IMG]
    I can't wait to candle and see what is going on inside those eggs... BUT I WILL Wait till the 10th day. [​IMG]
     
  9. steffpeck

    steffpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    Good Luck!! There is nothing better than a new momma hen with her babies!! I have 21 Barnevelder eggs in my bator on day 16 from Peace of Thyme. They seem to be growing really well. I started with 24 had 1 broken when it got here, didn't hold out much hope for the rest, with the condition the box arrived in (Post office's fault not seller's) I figured that most if not all were scrambled. When I candled on day 10, I tossed 2 that were clear, saw 12 moving, and 9 had something in them but didn't see movement. Hopefully you will have good results also. Make sure you post pic's of your babies, please. [​IMG]
     
  10. sben451

    sben451 Chillin' With My Peeps

    356
    1
    129
    Aug 26, 2008
    Anniston, AL
    My Silkie hen "Foxy" when broody recently and I was also worried because I could not be sure she was eating and drinking and could not find the "broody poo" that everyone talks about. I just made sure she had access to food and water. About her second week, I noticed she had pooed on the other side of her pen, so I was relieved that at least she was getting off the eggs to do that. She hatched out 6 beautiful chicks and has been a model mother hen. Your broody will probably be one, too. They just have the right instincts.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by