How can I make my hens go broody??!

Ashley McDaniel

Songster
Nov 8, 2017
115
128
126
Ohio
Hello everyone, I purchased a trio of 1 year old Silkies from a friend who could no longer keep them about 4 months ago. 1 hen, 2 Roo's. "FeeFee" has yet to lay an egg since she's been here. My friend said that she had just started laying only 1 egg per every 2 weeks. I know that Silkies are not the greatest at egg production, but I'm getting a little worried. I've put golf balls and even real eggs in her nesting box. The other day I watched her build a nest for the first time, I was excited and hopeful. However, that was it. She never sat in the best, and now the straw is just scattered around. Is this normal behavior? Is there anything else I can do to encourage egg laying? Or help make her go broody? Even if she doesn't go broody, if she would at least lay, I could hatch some Barbie Silkies, which is my plan. Any ideas, suggestions, advice, tips or experience would be greatly appreciated. Also, I've included a pic of Edward, Emmit, and FeeFee
20180304_182312.jpg
 

Joeschooks

Just clucking around
Feb 7, 2018
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Unfortunately you can’t make them go broody. You can encourage them by putting eggs in the nest box but you’re doing that already. I believe they can be encouraged with lavender and a other herbs but I don’t know how effective that is. As you probably know, Silkies are one of the most broody breeds, so give her time and she will go broody if and when she wants to lol! Good luck. I hope it happens for you.
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
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Jun 28, 2011
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During winter the days are short and most hens prefer about 12 hours or more of good light daily to stimulate their ovaries and keep them laying. I think the shorter days, combined with the stress of moving to a new home, was enough to make her decide to just take a break for awhile. With spring and the longer days she will hopefully get back into production for you. As a previous poster said, Silkies are legendary broodies and chances are she will decide to start sitting once she laid a few eggs, especially if you leave the eggs in the nest for her.

Make sure she is eating well and living a stress free life and give her a bit more time. Hopefully she will start paying the rent for you soon :)
 

SuperMyke

Chirping
Mar 8, 2018
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Toledo, Ohio
I added a solar powered led light rope to give a bit more light to stimulate egg production during the winter short daylight days. You could try it and may be that would help. Set it on a timer tonup.the day light lenght of day. Harbor Freight has a set for around 10.00
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
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Could be she's stressed living with two roosters. That could cause her not to lay. As far as making them go broody, you can't. It's a hormonal thing that - from what I have read - is dictated primarily by the length of time they get light during the day. If you want to hatch eggs on your own schedule, you need to get an incubator. Hens don't go broody on our schedule.
 
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Ashley McDaniel

Songster
Nov 8, 2017
115
128
126
Ohio
The roosters are not her problem. My friend would NOT let me purchase them separately, as she said they were a close little family. I didn't believe her until I seen it for myself. The 3 of them are inseparable. They eat together, sleep together, play together and they've never fought, which is extremely rare. I have a flock of 20 production hens, and only 1 rooster and he's plenty for all of them. After hearing from all of you I think it was the stress from the move, followed by lack of sunlight. I did purchase solar light strings about 10 days ago and put them in the coop. Hopefully with time it will help. I ordered an incubator this morning, to hatch eggs from my RIR, BR, and White Leghorns. So, I'm sure she'll lay when the time is right for her, until then, I'll continue doing what I've been doing lol patiently but anxiously waiting and spoiling my pet chickens. Thanks so much for your time, and for all the great info and advice.
 

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