Does a broody need a rest after four weeks with no hatch?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mrs. Mucket, May 21, 2011.

  1. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I'm afraid my banty Silkie broody's eggs are not going to hatch. I can give her some new fertile eggs to replace them, but is it best for her to have a break before starting another round? I'm okay either way, letting her hatch chicks or breaking her broody cycle.
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I think the answer depends on your chicken. Some broodies get off the nest and eat and get some exercise a lot more than others do. They're also even more prone to lice/mites when broody. At the least I'd check her thoroughly for this, and see if I could tell whether she's lost weight. Maybe carry her a good distance from the coop and see how she walks back. Check her breast or keel bone and see if she feels thin or bony to you; compare her to your others, if you have other Silkies.

    I've given new store bought chicks to a broody who's been on the nest a month or so, just to get her off the nest and moving again. I did give eggs to a long time broody once, when I was new to all this, and it worked out fine, but she would get off the nest and get outdoors any time I went to the coop, so she was eating and getting exercise fairly well.

    Another thought is, breaking a broody works better on some than others. It may be that eggs or chicks are the only way she'll stop.

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