Can you train a silkie to use the nest box?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Crazy For Color, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Crazy For Color

    Crazy For Color Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a silkie hen that lays her eggs in the corner of the pen, all the other chickens use the nest boxes in the coop. Are there any tricks or ideas on how to encourage her to use the nest box?
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Can she get to the nesting boxes? Is the other chickens bigger than her? With silkies I have given up some times and just put a nesting box where she is laying at. Seem most of my silkies were Missing "something"---like part of their brain. But they are loved and their chicks always sold good.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Agreed. Omega hens can feel threatened by higher ranking hens and are much less likely to lay in the nest boxes used by them. Personally, I don't sweat where my girls chose to lay, as long as its in the coop.
     
  4. Crazy For Color

    Crazy For Color Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is my only silkie hen. I have 2 silkie roosters. The other 3 hens are standard chickens. She can get to the nest boxes easily, as she sleeps in one every night. I have 3 nest boxes. She sleeps in the far right and the rest lay eggs in the far left. The middle box rarely has an egg in it. I'm not terribly worried about it but my nest boxes are through the wall in my enclosed back porch and it's very convenient not to have to go outside and into the coop to collect the eggs. There is wood chips in the nest boxes and straw on the floor. I thought about putting straw in the nest box that she sleeps in to see if that helps. ?
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    agree with CTken silkies tend to be bullied a lot by other breeds. Also their wing feathers aren't meant for flying. They can jump . It isn't so much that silkies are not the brightest bulb in the chandelier but, their big crests and beards prevent them from seeing well. Also makes them a target for predators. People who have cut back their crest and beards have found their personality and intelligence grows.

    If you have(had) a group of silkies you would find them sleeping in a pile on the floor, in a corner. You may feel better about her egg laying choices, when she goes broody and you can use her as a natural incubator. Silkies are generally the best of the broodies.
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Anything's worth a try, but it seems that she is not comfortable with being in potential proximity to the other hens, so it may not work.
     
  7. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I personally would break her from sleeping in the nesting box, I never allow that----I just go to the nesting box with a dim light---put her on the roost and cut the light off till I get away---but that's your call.
     
  8. Crazy For Color

    Crazy For Color Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have thought about breaking her from sleeping in the nest box. I didn't let any of the others do it but I read on here that some do let their silkies sleep in the nest box because it's warmer. One of the silkies use to sleep with her and now he cuddles up to the other rooster!
     
  9. Crazy For Color

    Crazy For Color Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is definitely lowest on the pecking order. She doesn't get picked on as much as being ignored =( The pen is basically an open style coop with walls made out of hard wire cloth. The coop is really a coop in the coop but with solid insulated walls. They often choose to hang out in the pen regardless if their run is open to them or not. I've seen her lay an egg while the others were hanging out in the pen. It seem like if she felt threatened by the other chickens, she'd want to go up into the nest boxes and have her privacy. I'm looking forward to her going broody and I'm praying for 1 or 2 hens from her so she can have more companions. I hesitate on buying more silkies in hopes that they are hens as that's how I ended up with only one hen and 2 roos. (I'm sure many others have similar stories! LOL!) Maybe I should just leave well enough alone in anticipation of her going broody because I could easily block off the back half of the pen until the babies are big enough to join the flock.
     
  10. Beer can

    Beer can Overrun With Chickens

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    Silkies seem to be slow learners, it took forever just to get mine to go in the coop at night.
    They did use the nest boxes, but never roosted, even with a low roost, just huddled in the corner. Maybe given time yours might get it, maybe try putting a nest box in the corner she lays, something simple and open like a plastic dish washing pan. I actually have a temporary coop right now with naked necks laying in a old dresser drawer for a nesting box.
    I had good luck with a mix flock when I added silkies, they didn't get picked on, the other chickens actually left them alone, I think they thought they were aliens :-D
     

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