Silkie Brooding for Months

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Cereal, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Cereal

    Cereal Chirping

    Jul 27, 2014
    So I have a Silkie I thought brooding with a batch of others so I let her sit. Now the other are not brooding any longer (or rather several others are) and she is still doing it. We had some mites but treated them all. Some of the silkies that have feathers on feet were of course hit harder and had more issues but all taken care of now. Her legs look weak but no bumble foot so not her feet. I had to clip her toe nails since she has been sitting for so dang long without going out to scratch about. Daily I get her out and put her in the yard to eat and drink. We sometimes give her food and water in her nest. She has eaten strawberries the last few days and stratch and little water and that is about it. She has done this for literally months.

    I force her to get out but the others hens pick on her - not bad - but a little and enough to scare her back to her nest inside. When she ruffles her feathers she looses her balance. Her legs shake a little but i think from not using them. She can run when needed. She walks about all fluffed up with wings out to her sides. She chirps like brooding chickens do - or what ever you want to call it. I am not sure she lays eggs and not sure how to check if she is plugged up :) She poops solid but of course very little cause she eats very little.

    She is the only one acting this way - What can I try? - (Isuppose I should move this question to the medical section) - Cereal
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Cereal! Glad you decided to join our flock. I've never had a problem with extended broodiness to a point of endangering a chicken's health, or even life, but there is a good article on this problem at You might also want to post this on our Emergencies, Diseases, Injuries, and Cures section at I'm sure someone who frequents that section can answer your question. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your broody Silkie.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I agree with Michael here, sometimes they can go broody long enough to endanger their health. You need to get her out of there and cage her for a while. Let her broodiness pass. This could take a week or so. Once she stops growling and fluffing her feathers at everybody, they will leave her alone. Give her an over all good exam and get her on some good feed. If she is still not well in a week or so, she could have something else going on.

  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X3, you need to break her of being broody, you've gotten some good suggestions/links above. Silkies are notorious for how stubborn they are about being broody and they will sometimes die rather than quit.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    You've gotten some good advice above.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Am I right in assuming this silkie has not hatched out any chicks but, rather is sitting on nothing. Silkies can go broody as the drop of a hat, being around other broodies probably compels her to continue beyond all rhyme and reason.

    I think she needs to be out of sight and earshot of any broody hens in order to break her.
    If she has been brooding for months, she is probably weak from not eating and exercising properly - just like a bedridden human. Their muscles atrophy from lack of use.

    If she had raised a clutch of chicks, she would have taken leave of being broody for awhile to teach her chicks about being chickens.
  7. Oh the Silkies will do that [​IMG]
  8. Cereal

    Cereal Chirping

    Jul 27, 2014
    I put her in a rabbit cage for about a week. Feed her all good things (she loved the strawberries) and gave vitamins too. Yes you are correct, she has hatched no eggs and sat for months even though I kept getting her out to eat with the others. She is now out and walking around but unstable. Her wings are out as if to keep her balance. I will keep feeding her special treats so she gets more meat on her bones - she is quite little and the other birds dont really hang with her. it is almost like she is hurt. Lat night I held her to check out her legs and feathers and when I put her down she kept flipping over or doing a face plant in the ground so I put her in a nesting box so she could rest without the others picking on her. This morning she was outside with the others - Yippee - now I have other silkie in the rabbit cage hoping to break her bad habit
  9. Cereal

    Cereal Chirping

    Jul 27, 2014
    At what point do I put her down and take her out of her misery?
  10. Cereal

    Cereal Chirping

    Jul 27, 2014
    Brooding behavior gone. Now she just cants stand or walk. I think he legs are weak or deformed from sitting so long. I examined her legs and feet and body and she freaks out more than usual. Not sure if she is pain. Sometimes I can hold her without the freak out. She eats good now but have not seen her drink so I make her drink from a dropper. She eats scrambled eggs, strawberries, cucumber, left over meat from dinner, and scratch if held up real close to her face.. . like she cant reach it otherwise. She sits back on her haunches to the point of falling over or off to one side (her strong side). I have to prop her up and situate her legs under her like she cant control herself without flapping her wings.

    At what point do I put her down?

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