How to tell a broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hennyhandler, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    I have a silkie that is about a year old. I integrated four younger silkies in with her. She was the only one in the pen before. She has no problem with them. She ignores them for the most part. They follow her everywhere and I am wondering if this is making her feel like a mama. The reason I think so is she has stopped laying, she is sitting in the coop which is where she lays her eggs, and when she does come out into the run she'll walk around but then she usually lay down again.
    I know that broodys stop laying and sit but when I go to pick her up or anything she doesn't growl at me or anything and she doesn't mind the other birds to be in there with her laying by her. She isn't always in the exact same spot and she is not laying on any of her eggs as they were removed from before. The fake eggs are in there but they were somewhat buried in the litter so I pulled them out and sat them closer to her to see what she would do. I haven't checked again yet though.
    Would you say she is broody? I assumed but I wanted to make sure and that it isn't something else. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  2. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2011
    She sounds broody. In fact, the same thing happened to me (well, similar) today. Maybe our hens are in a conspiracy [​IMG]. Sometimes the hen is distracted or when she gets off she never comes back. Believe me, you want a broody box. You just do. It's easy, I made one out of cardboard today. If they have a dark, quiet place to sit they will sit, and also they get irritated and may stop sitting if a hen lays with her. I thought this was impossible but it happened today [​IMG]. She probably is broody, but won't hatch until separated (not even separated, just closed off. My box will be in the coop)
    If you want chicks, listen to me. If you don't, the one trick I hear works is Ziploc some ice, then put it on the bedding. She usually doesn't sit anymore, I hear.
     
  3. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    I already have hatched out chicks and don't have a rooster for fertile eggs yet. If I leave her be do you think she will give up on her own? I don't need for her to not be broody but she wont have any eggs right now to sit on so... I mean, if that will make her happier.
     
  4. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2011
    I would give the hen eggs. Just make sure she is separated (however you want to go about doing that). The hen usually does all the work, besides you giving the chooks their med mash. Also, because you raised chicks before, and I am guessing the four you integrated were the chicks you hatched out, an idea is to use their brooder (which held 4 chicks, which makes it a decent size) and put the hen in it with her chicks after hatch. It's a good separation method and it allows them to be under our watchful eyes. I'd bet the hen would be happy if you egg'd her, but it's her decision.

    Also, maybe consider getting a rooster. They protect the flock and can save you money for fertilized eggs in a situation like this. Just remember you wait a week after introducing the rooster, and the sperm lasts only about a week. If you hate crowing, it's as simple as getting a more docile (with silkies, it's not hard at all) and quiet one. I have one rooster that keeps the peace between the other chickens. He's the sweetest little guy...

    Good luck!
     
  5. luvmyEs

    luvmyEs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Thanks for posting this today! My silkie is sitting on one extra-large size egg and one silkie egg for the past couple days. I wasn't sure if she was broody or not.
     
  6. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You got a brooder on your hands!!!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    I am hoping to get a rooster out of the silkies I have hatched out. I was a little hesitant to give her eggs because this would be her first time. I had heard that sometimes they will quit in the middle of the attempt. If I do this could I leave her in the coop? The area where I have the brooder is going to be full again as I have another set of chicks to be moved there soon. If I leave her in the coop what would be the best set up for her? Thanks for all the help. I am excited but at the same time I am overrun with chickies!! It's a [​IMG]and a [​IMG]kinda moment.

    I forgot to also ask, I know that broody chickens usually will gather a clutch before sitting and she hasn't. Does this mean that she won't understand what to do with the actual eggs if I give them to her?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  8. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should separate the hen in a dark, quiet box for her to work on her eggs. She won't get distracted and likely won't leave halfway through. I would close the broody box off except for the thrice per day feeding/watering/pooping breaks. This way she won't wander off. Some hens don't sit on anything, others find an egg and sit, other sit on those they lay. Some hens don't lay a clutch. I think for Silkie breed avg. clutch size is 8 (of course, you can give her as many eggs as you want, she'll be happy with any at all). Just separate her, and on hatch there are different approaches. One might put them back, others put the hen in the brooder, other remove the chicks and artificially brood (don't do it, the hen will be DEVASTATED!!!).
    If you leave her in the coop, a set up is to tightly cover 1-2 nest boxes and thrice daily let her out for feed/water/poop and put her back in, then cover, this way no hens will lay with her (ridiculous, didn't think they'd do it,, they do...) and she won't leave midway because of being distracted...
     
  9. luvmyEs

    luvmyEs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to be moving my silkie to the garage when I get home in the morning. Even though there are 2 other empty nest boxes the other hens keep laying eggs in her nest box[​IMG] and my silkie keeps breaking and eating them. When I move her will it effect her place in the pecking order when she returns?
     

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