Is My Silkie Broody?


8 Years
May 23, 2011
Hi there,
I have 6 Silkies, one of which has been laying every day for three weeks now, however, the last few days she has been staying in the coop in her nest box all day long? She hopped out this morning for 10 minutes and is now back in there again. Is this a broody hen?
Also, if I want her to hatch her chicks, will she lay a clutch of eggs? How many is the norm for a Silkie? And wouldn't she have to mate with the rooster every day in order for the daily egg to be fertile? Will I have to seperate her from the others?
She doesn't have to mate with the rooster every day to lay fertile eggs. A hen can store sperm for 3 weeks. If she's truly broody, she won't be laying though - so you will want to give her fertile eggs from another hen. (or dig her eggs out of the fridge - just let them warm to room temperature before you give them to her) Also, you can look for other signs of broodiness: puffing up, staying on the nest at night, etc.
Mine just went broody, too.

She stopped laying and just sat in the nest box.

I grabbed some eggs and put them underneath her.

When I candled them this week, it seems 5 out of the 7 are viable (to my surprise).

I threw out the two duds so she wouldn't have as many to sit on.

When I went to check on her this morning and take her off the nest to drink some water, I found 3 MORE eggs under her.

Apparently, my little d'Uccle likes to lay in that nest and once she jumps off the nest, the broody Silkie just shoves the egg underneath her.

So now I'm gonna make a penned off area in the coop just for her and her nest with some food/water.

that's the most common problem without seperating the broodies from the rest of the egg laying flock.. this creates a big problem of an uneven hatch date. after the eggs don't hatch for 2 or 3 days, the hen is ready to move her and the babies on, regardless if the remaining eggs are due to hatch for a week, 2, or are brand new...
What you can do is take all the eggs that she has been setting on mark them with a sharpie and then all the others you know that don't have a dot are not hers and take them out and put them in the frige
or pen her off seperately if you don't want to look at, or under her every day...

I have heard that sharpies should not be used on egg shells, as they are porus, and the ink will bleed through... You should use a lead pencil instead..
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I had previously marked the eggs she was sitting on, so it was easy to grab the newcomers.

I made another nest inside a lg dog crate that I keep inside the coop.

It's got food/water inside.

I'm thinking I should wait till everyone's asleep to move her?

Some great tips and advice there.....thanks so much! I had no idea that a hen will store sperm for up to three weeks! Fascinating! I'm going to get a couple of her eggs out from the fridge and stick them under her. Do Silkie eggs hatch in 21 days like regular chicks?

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