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Is my silkie chicken broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bettyloosilkie, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. bettyloosilkie

    bettyloosilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    I have five silkie bantams and one Plymouth rock hen that is around 4 years old. I just got the silkies in July and they started laying eggs in about December. None of them have had any problems but now one of them (that shows all the signs of a rooster) is sitting in the nesting box acting like a broody hen. On top of that, when I bring it down into the run, it starts to fight with one of the other silkies and the Plymouth rock pecks at her and chases her away. I am about as confused as you can be, can someone help???
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    First off, welcome to BYC!!![​IMG]

    If your hen is constantly sitting in the nest and acting grumpy, she is most likely broody, yes. Are there feathers in her nest? That is another indicator of broodiness as hens will pluck feathers from their breast and line their nests with them. Has her voice changed at all? Broodies often have a deep, growly cluck too.
    Here are a couple helpful links concerning broody hens.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/broody-hens
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/guide-to-letting-broody-hens-hatch-and-raise-chicks
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/encouraging-or-discouraging-broodiness-in-your-hens

    Hope this helps! Good luck and, again, welcome to the community. [​IMG]
     
  3. bettyloosilkie

    bettyloosilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I will look for feathers but the thing I am worried about is that when she will come down, or I bring her down, she is fighting with the other silikes. I have had other chickens before and none of them ever went broody,that I know of, so this is all kind of new for me. These silkies are something else!!! The weird thing is that when Blanche ,the chicken in question, fights she is only going for one of the certain chickens. Do you know anything about this???
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Can you post pictures of the Silkie in question? That a way we can at least address the issue of whether or not its male or female. I've found, with my Silkies at least, catching one of them in the nest box isn't necessarily an indication that that bird is female. My roos go in and prep the nest boxes for the girls each day (or make a new nest somewhere on the floor :/ ). They scratch out a perfect little bowl, cluck up a storm and then sit there for a bit while the girls either ignore them, or come over and check out their handy work. I sometimes catch them in the nests while the hens are laying. The fighting could be a rooster trying to establish his dominance over the hens. Thats what they do.

    -or-

    The bird in question could be a broody hen. They don't all pluck breast feathers to line their nests, but a lot do. Normally a broody hen will growl or screech at you if you get too close or try to touch them. Some will stop there, others will bite or attack (doesn't sound like yours is one of those). When they come off the nest, they fluff themselves up, spread their wings out and walk around all clucky. I notice my rooster tends to push them around, and the hens do to sometimes. Its not excessive, more like, hey, you've got a job to do. What are you doing out here? The most sure fire way to determine if you've got a brooding hen is to look out for "broody bombs". Since they only leave the nest once a day to eat, drink, dust and poop, those poops are pretty large. And horribly stinky. They're pretty unmistakable.

    Well, good luck!
     
  5. bettyloosilkie

    bettyloosilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    So I looked but there were no feathers in the box.
    I hope you can see these OK. They came out sideways for some reason.
    This first picture if of her in the nesting box. Her feathers are puffed up and she was growling at me when I open the hatch.

    [​IMG]
    But here she is casing this other chicken away from her even though the red one was about three feet away
    [​IMG]

    Here is another one of her pecking at the red one. keep in mind that this is when I brought her down.
    [​IMG]

    This is how she was walking around. Wings out and wobbling.
    [​IMG]

    This is just another one about how she is walking.
    [​IMG]

    I hope this gives you some information about what is going on here. I am leaning toward that she is a girl, but the way that she looks and the fighting with the other chickens is really throwing me off.I hope this helps!!!
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Looks like a broody hen to me! Hook her up with some eggs :)

    The squabbling is pretty normal stuff.
     
  7. bettyloosilkie

    bettyloosilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Well i am not really looking for baby chick right now. She has normally been a pretty docile little girl and now she is fighting with them. I am hoping that it is just because of the broodiness. Do you know how i could break the broody.
     
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep, stick her in a wire bottom cage with no bedding, food and water for a few days. If she heads back to the nest when you let her out...repeat until she doesn't.
     
  9. bettyloosilkie

    bettyloosilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    OK thank you, this has helped me a TON!!! I will try the wire box. Do you know of any way that I could prevent this type of thing?
     
  10. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome! And nope, sorry. Silkies are relentless broodies. You can try keeping all of the eggs collected up, but, they'll just try to brood air. Or rocks. Broodiness comes with the breed. I just let them hatch, but I'm always hatching anyway. And that's how one Silkie quickly turns into 40 :oops:
     

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