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new layer having psych issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ccusker, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. ccusker

    ccusker In the Brooder

    Dec 27, 2010
    Hi! 3 of my girls went broody at once and just hatched out 8 chicks...I have them in a separate small coop for now since 1 got trampled mid-hatch when they were in the main coop. Here's the issue:
    I have a young hen named Gertie (born 2/14/11) that started laying about a week ago. Since the babies have arrived, Gertie is OBSESSED with trying to get in their coop and tuck all the unhatched eggs under her. It's only day 22 and the broodies are still sitting on the eggs along with the chicks, so this causes the broodies to go after Gertie and peck at her. If the chicks go up to her, she pecks them away...it's a big mess! She seems so clueless and stressed! Gertie has also become EXTREMELY clingy with me - wants to be held and pet all the time (usually does NOT enjoy being picked up), and runs to me whenever I go outside/tries to come inside with me when I go in. It's heartbreaking! I tried to set her with my other layer hen, but she just ran out and resumed pacing in front of the brooder coop.

    Here's what I've done:
    Locked the brooder coop and gave them plenty of food and water
    relocated a nesting box away from brooder for her to lay in
    given her extra treats/attention

    SO, what does this mean? Is she trying to go broody? Does she think the eggs are hers? In another day or so I will toss the unhatched eggs, but I don't want to throw away a chick about to hatch!

    Gertie is my sole survivor of the only eggs I've ever incubated (the other 5 all were snatched in 1 day!). She's a frizzle-silkie mix and absolutely the best hen in the world. I hate to see her so distraught! Any advice????

  2. Chick15

    Chick15 Songster

    Apr 21, 2011
    Sounds to me like she may be trying to go broody, cant be sure thoough... hopefully somebody else will come along ...
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Silkies are weird. I think one of mine just started laying, and is already in the coop sitting on air! When my silkies sit on eggs, it's usually 3 of them that share the sitting. They all sit there and if one gets up, they take the eggs, and this goes on for 21 days. Then all 3 are moms and raise them all. It's pretty neat. They don't have nests, just a corner. And I mark the eggs because they will add laid eggs to their clutch. I think silkies love laying in a group and sharing responsibilities.

    I say just give her an egg or two to sit on and get it out of her system. (other eggs)

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