Questions about a broody Silkie.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PAChickenLady, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. PAChickenLady

    PAChickenLady Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 9 month old Silkie hen. She had been regularly laying 3-4 eggs per week until a few weeks ago. Now she is always found in a nesting box as if she is sitting on eggs, but she has not layed an egg in almost 4 weeks. She sometimes sits on eggs layed by my GLWs, but lately she is sitting on nothing. Although I have never seen her out of the nesting box, I am assuming she is eating and drinking since she still seems like herself. She is feisty and protective of her nest, she is vocal, alert, and not getting skinny or unhealthy looking. Since she suddenly stopped laying eggs, I am a bit concerned she might be egg bound, although she doesn't seem to be in any kind of distress.

    Why would she be nesting like this if there are no eggs under her? Could it have something to do with the Silkie rooster we adopted? We got him around New Years and her behavior seemed to start after his arrival. Or is the timing just a coincidence? These are my first chickens and I just want to make sure everything is okay with them and if this behavior is normal.
     
  2. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hens stop laying when they are broody. Hatching eggs is tough work. :)
     
  3. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She will get off the nest once a day to do the necessities (eat, drink, poop).
     
  4. PAChickenLady

    PAChickenLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Is it common for a hen to go broody if there is nothing actually under her? If she thinks there is an egg there, how long will she go without it "hatching" before she gives up on it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  5. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    i saw some people say they had some that was waiting to hatch for oh most 3 months i think they said ... some birds are crazy lol .. i wonder why your 9 month old silky is laying but mines not .. could it be that i live in a cold area or
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers


    Yeah, we call it "broody on air."

    Hens don't need a rooster, fertile eggs or often ANY eggs to go broody. Many will brood on golf balls until somebody replaces them with presumably fertile eggs, or sometimes with day old chicks.

    She may give up early, not going the full three weeks, or she may be really stubborn (not her fault, it's hormones) and stay broody even longer.
     
  7. lclough1998

    lclough1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not really sure how a chicken thinks but I think of the hen going in and laying an egg several days a week and she doesnt acknowledge that the eggs are gone every day. Then when they have laid enough, they hunker down and go broody, whether or not there are eggs.

    I would slip some day old chicks under her during the night and let her do her thing! She will take care of them, just keep her in a dog crate or somewhere they will be safe, supply fresh water and chick starter in the crate. She will sit on the babies for a few day and they will bond, then they will venture out of their nest so make sure its on the ground and that the new littles can make it back in with mom. I never let a good broody go to waste! Even if you don't want babies, this time of the year you will find someone who does. I would plan on keeping the babies at least 6 weeks, just my way of thinking. Goodluck and enjoy! Silkies are one of the broodiest breeds.
     
  8. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also live in a cold area, my silkies are around 9 months old. My 2 partridge started laying first about 2 months ago. They layed for a month and went broody. My black silkie layed her first egg 2 weeks ago and immediately went broody. My buff was last to lay about a week ago.
    [​IMG]
    My broody and her chicks I snuck under her during the night at 4 days old. They are now 2 1/2 weeks all doing great. :)
     
  9. PAChickenLady

    PAChickenLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, the Tractor Supply store near me will be getting Americauna chicks any day. Maybe I'll get one or two and put them under her. I live in Eastern PA so it's still pretty cold most days here. Is it too early to put them out with her or will she make sure they are kept warm enough? If I put her and the babies in separate cage, should I leave it open for her to get in and out, or will that put the chicks in danger of pecking from my other two hens? Should I close her up in the cage with food and water available?

    Thanks everybody, for your insight. I want what's best for my birds and you all are a great help on this site!
     
  10. Summerlove

    Summerlove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I let my broody sit on golf balls for over 2 weeks because I read they are more likely to accept chicks if they think they incubated them. I now have my broody in a xlrg rabbit cage separate from the other hens in my coop. If your hen is low on pecking order she may not be able to protect chicks I think it is better to separate just in case. I live in southern, Ontario with no power in my coop. The first week the chicks were here it was -10 celcius. All the chicks were fine mamma keeps them nice and warm :) Just make sure they always have access to water and chick starter. Good luck!
     

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