Help!! My silkie pullet's behavior has changed.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Yuki Noodle, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Yuki Noodle

    Yuki Noodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    Portland, OR
    First off, thanks! I have been learning so much from this site although I haven't posted until now.

    I am feeling a little stuck and hope that someone can give me some advice.

    A couple months ago my husband and I got four pullets, a silkie, a silver wyandotte, a black sex link and an amerucana. Our silkie started laying last week and so far is the only one. Despite being picked on a bit by the amerucana around bedtime her personality became very fun and spunky in the last couple weeks. She ran up to greet us and killed any meal worms we gave her. She was the first to eat out of our hand.

    Yesterday morning her mood changed, she stayed in the coop most of the day, didn't have the spunk she had been having and only went out to free range a couple times. When she was in the yard I mostly found her sitting or lingering behind vegetables. She isn't cruising around the yard like she usually does. Her posture is what it normally is when she walks or relaxes. I have seen her eat and drink. Her eggs are all a pretty pink and about the same size and weight. She has also been very easy to pick up during the day, which isn't normal. She didn't lay today, but she has laid a lot so a break makes sense. When she does lay she goes to the nesting box, scratches around for a while gets out paces and then back to the box and repeats it until she lays. This takes usually 30 minutes to an hour, maybe. Does that sound normal? She has only laid six eggs. The heat here in Portland, OR hasn't been nearly as bad as it has been (which never hindered her before). No weight loss, her feathers look good to me and her feet are still funny looking and perfect with her five toes. [​IMG]

    I guess it could be any number of things. Any thoughts on what it could be or how I could be more proactive?


    Thanks so much!

    Jamie



    [​IMG]
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    OOH she's CUTE! Is she setting in her nest alot? Does she puff up if you try and take her off the eggs? Or does she even set in her nest with no eggs under her? She might be broody. Silkies are a very very broody breed of chicken. That means she wants to hatch babies badly. My friend had a silkie that was so broody, she would even set on a pine cone! LOL
     
  3. Yuki Noodle

    Yuki Noodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Thank you - we love her! She hasn't been in the nesting box much, but she is hanging around the coop. One of the six eggs she has laid she was protective over, I think that was #3 and my husband snatched it from her anyways. Maybe it is broodiness? I guess I don't know exactly what to look for. She is just slow moving and seems tired.

    She was picked on A LOT in the first week or so we had her from one of the other girls and that has mostly resolved itself. With this behavior in mind we named her Carrie like the Stephen King novel. It only seemed appropriate. [​IMG]
     
  4. Yuki Noodle

    Yuki Noodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Hmm... Since no one else has chimed in should I assume it's just broodiness?
     
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi Jamie

    She sounds broody. When you say she "stayed in the coop most of the day" was she is the nest box? If she was, then a definite vote for broody from me. If she is just in the coop, lingering similar to behind the vegetables, it could be something else.

    You mentioned she has had a break from laying .. how long? I had a bantam acting similar who had also not laid for a while; turns out she had some plumbing problems and was laying internally, causing infection.

    She could also be egg-bound.

    I do not mean to scare you, just putting ideas out there.

    Has she had a fright recently? Could she be scared? Has the bullying from the Amerucana got a bit out of hand? She could just be feeling a tad picked on.

    I would keep an eye on her and see if she seems to deteriorate or look like she is straining, or hunched up. There are lots of helpful threads on egg bound fixes. Unfortunately, internal laying is not so easy to fix, if at all (I lost my little girl).

    I read a quote from a Silkie breeder on BYC "To a Silkie 1 egg equals breakfast; 2 eggs equals an excuse to go broody" [​IMG]
     
  6. Yuki Noodle

    Yuki Noodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Thanks! When I say the coop, I mean the coop and not the nesting box. She has laid six of the last eight days, so I think the break is normal. This started yesterday after she laid her most recent egg.

    Since her laying has been so frequent I would imagine that being egg bound isn't a possibility?

    The bullying has improved quite a bit.


    Since I am new to this I may be overreacting a bit. I just don't know what to look for.
     
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    I am definitely no expert either; just trying to help out :)

    I do not think you are overreacting; I would be the same.

    If she is not sticking to the nest box, looking broody, then she may not be broody. With their funny little chickenalities who knows what they are thinking sometimes.

    I would do what you are doing now, keep an eye on her, make sure she does not take a turn for the worse and as mentioned, just watch for any signs of straining, tail droop, anything to indicate she is having problems.

    She could just be 'working' on a larger than normal egg, maybe a double yolker.

    My Silkie laid her very first egg a couple of days ago and it was quite large for a first. While not unwell, she has also been a little bit off her normal happy self since then and I am just keeping an eye on her for now.
     
  8. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She may not be fully broody but on the fringe if this is her first time. Just keep watching. You may have to try to go ahead and break her broodiness so she can get back to her normal routine.
     
  9. Yuki Noodle

    Yuki Noodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Day three: She isn't in the nesting box, but she's camping outside of it. She is moving around slowly when I push her to do so.

    Broody? Sheesh... I'm such an amateur!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Yuki Noodle

    Yuki Noodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Thank you! Am I assuming correctly that the definition of broody isn't necessarily black and white? She does seem a little bigger...

    And to break her of this I bring her outside with the rest of our little flock? She is super easy to pickup now.

    Thanks! This is nerve wracking.
     

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