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Broody Silkie

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wbruder17, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    My favorite Silkie, (who has never laid an egg herself), as of yesterday, has become very broody with my other chicken's eggs. The eggs are a variety of size, she makes silly "I'm not happy" noises and spreads herself out all big and tough when I take the eggs from her, which I actually think is pretty cute and funny, but here are my questions:

    1. Once they have become broody, do they ever stop? I don't really mind that she isn't laying, and I was hoping to use her to hatch some eggs in the spring, so I guess I'm kinda glad she's being such a good momma, but will she stop being broody when I take the eggs every day, or will she just keep sitting on whatever is there? Will she get dissuaded when I keep taking them and decide she doesn't want to do it when I want her to?

    2. She seems to be broody at night. she's started sleeping in the nesting box, but still comes out in the morning. I have been working during the day, so I will need to the weekend to find out if she sits (sets?) all day or not.

    3. Will her broodiness rub off on the other girls? I don't mind one, but I don't want all of them to stop laying and want to sit. (set?)

    4. Why is she broody now? Isn't springtime when they want to do that?

    5. If I actually let her have some, would she hatch them out in the middle of winter? They would die in the cold, wouldn't they?

    6. How long does an egg have to be incubated before you can tell if its actually fertilized?

    Ok, I think that's all for now. Thanks so much for reading this and I look forward to hearing from ya'll!

  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    Broodiness is a hormonal thing. Her hormones have triggered her to want to hatch babies, and though it's most practical in spring or summer, it happens when it happens.
    One of my Cuckoo Marans, who was just 5 1/2 months old in August, suddenly went broody. We couldn't find local eggs (mostly because I really didn't know how to go about it) until the first week of September. She hatched out two babies at the end of September. It's not optimal timing, but the babies will mostly stay under their mom, in her down feathers, and come out for brief periods, to eat or drink, which she will teach them. There were times that we tried to get a look at the babies, and actually lifted her up carefully, out of her box. When we lifted her, we heard a lot of peeping, and saw tiny feet sticking out of her feathers. They were packed in there against her, keeping warm. As the days go by, they come out more and more, but always retreat to mom's feathers.
    As far as it "catching", I don't know if one bird being broody will inspire others to be so, also. None of my other birds have been broody, and she is returning to egg laying as of this week.
    There are ways to "break a broody", but often they are not very nice. One of the more humane methods is to put the broody bird in a wire cage, so that she can't keep very warm.
    If you want to allow her to hatch some eggs, you can use those from your birds (if you have a rooster, and have reason to believe they are fertile eggs) or there are lots of nice people here who would be happy to sell you a few of your choice of breed.

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