Help...Depressed silkies???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emeraldquill, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    Hi,
    My kids recently bought 2 black silkies for me,one is approx 6 months or so I have been told and the other around 3/4.
    We built them quite a large run etc and provided everything that we had been told to.Unfortunately they could not be kept together as the older one almost killed the little one,we divided their run and house with chicken wire so they can still see each other but live and let live.
    The older one recently started laying and was out most of the day doing what chickens do,but lately she has taken to sitting in the house most of the day and without company the little one is copying her behaviour.What am I doing wrong or is this typically what they do?I loved sitting watching them scratch around chat to each other,now I sit looking at 2 empty runs!
    Am I a bad mum? [​IMG]
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    By any chance is the one laying eggs bring broody?
     
  3. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    I'm new to this so I couldn't say.What do you suggest?
     
  4. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    If I shut them out of the house during the day would that help? I'm at a loss here,worried they will not be eating and drimking enough.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you look up what a broody is and their behavior, you'll find that it means she wants to sit on a nest and hatch eggs. They will confine themselves to a nest and just sit there. If you approach she will generally puff up and not want to move. They can get up once a day to eat and drink but will lose lots of weight as they are taking energy to heat a nest. However, without fertile eggs, her efforts are futile and you should break her of the habit.

    If she is not broody, then there may be something else wrong. Just toss her out of her coop and put her out with food and water to see if she frantically tries to get back to the nest. If so, coop her up so she can't sit. Silkies are notorious for wanting to set.

    If she is lethargic, loosing weight, and still laying though, might be something else wrong.
     
  6. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    Thank you for that. So if I turf them out during the day and only let them in at night that might break the habit? How long does it normally take...feel bad about the little one,she is just following suit and not even laying yet!
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Maybe if you can get a new pair of birds too or try to reintegrate them when they are the same size it would be socially better for them too. There will be bickering till pecking order is figured out, but let them fight unless one get's a major bleeding wound as they have to work it out. It may take a few days, it may take weeks, depends on the bird's hormones. I have two silkies who I've been trying to break for a whole month.... to no avail.
     
  8. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    Oh god. What happens if you can't get them to stop sitting? Will they eventually waste away through self-neglect? What steps have you taken to stop this behaviour in your ladies?
     
  9. Dutchy

    Dutchy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2008
    The Netherlands
    I have recently got three hens and one of them just likes to sit on a perch all day...I have been getting her out....for the past couple of days...when I take her out she does not go back into until it's 'bed time'....this particular hen was picked on by the top hen for a day or 2 but this seemed to stop...

    I have had these 3 hens for 2 weeks now....

    Could it be that my timid little friend is broody? she has not as of yet laid any eggs since I got ger 2 weeks ago...

    please forgive my newbie questions...

    Many thanks
    Dave.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  10. emeraldquill

    emeraldquill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Suffolk.England
    Tried putting my apparently broody lady out into the run today and blocked off the house.....she sulked on the ladder for a few minutes then rammed down the door like a gladiator and shut it behind her! :mad:
    She's a determined lady.....but so am I!
    Put her out again and left for work,on my return she had made herself a new nest under the ladder and hadn't snapped out of her behaviour at all. Not sure how long I will have to do this but she does not appear to be eating or drinking very much....if anything. What can I do to make her interested in food??? [​IMG]
     

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