First time broody silkie being attacked!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by silkiemumma, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. silkiemumma

    silkiemumma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2016
    Kent UK
    Hello all, (sorry if this is a common thread but I am at my wits end of searching for help)
    my little silkie has just started her broodiness for the first time. She spends all day sitting in the nest box on nothing and if she does come out the head hen (a hybrid) will pluck her feathers and chase her away...
    I've shut the others out and allowed Eliza to drink and eat in peace, but as soon as the other hens come back in she runs back to her nest box and just sits there all day...

    What should I do? What's the best option?
    I don't want to dunk her in water or break her broodiness but I'm worried her sitting away from the others is allowing room for bossiness to take hold.

    Do I buy her some fertizlied eggs and seperate her from the flock to hatch them?
    Do I seperate her and buy her a chick?
    Do I seperate the devil hen?
    Do I just let chicken politics take its hold?

    It's breaking my heart to see my little fluff ball so determined to hatch nothing [​IMG]

    Thanks x
     
    Chickenlady48 likes this.
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    Hi,

    I think that it's best just to leave the hens to it (even though it's really hard watching hen be picked on), and only intervine if the mean hen draws blood. I was in a similar situation with a Poland and a very evil Warren, and I found that it's just best to let them establish the pecking order. Adding extra food and water stations will help to reduce conflict......

    As for the broodiness- definetely either give her fertile eggs (there's a good selection on eBay) or chicks, but make sure you separate her and the chicks from the rest of the flock, to avoid the mean hen attacking them. I learnt the hard way, from just leaving a broody to it, and seeing if she would snap out of it- she didn't and nearly died :(.

    Edited to add: Your Silkie hen looks gorgeous ;)

    Good luck,
    Charlotte :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It's up to you if you give her eggs to hatch, get her a couple of chicks to raise, or break her broodiness. Do you want, need or have room for more chickens? If the answer to any if those is no, the kindest thing to do would be to break her broodiness. An elevated wire bottomed cage is a helpful tool. It helps cool off her belly. (At least this is what I've read. I like to use my broodies to hatch, so I've never tried to break one.)
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm wondering if she isn't just hiding in the nest from being picked on, rather than being broody?
    Does she sit on the nest most the day and all night?
    To test this, setup a separate broody area right in coop but keeping other birds away with wire fencing.
    If she stick tight to nest day and night, then you can decide to break or let her hatch.


    Very important question.

    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]
     

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