Silkie gone broody?? but it's wintertime!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by technodoll, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I think my little 8 month old Silkie Blossom, who just started laying a couple of weeks ago, has gone broody???

    She did not leave the nest yesterday since noon, I thought she was egg-bound since there was NO egg at dusk and it was so weird since she LOVES to free-range, it was not normal behavior. Then instead of roosting with the gang as she always does, she slept in one of the nesting boxes crammed in with my RSL, Antoinette, who always sleeps there.

    This morning Blossom was still in a nesting box but she had laid her egg and was just sitting on it.

    I put her outside to free-range with the flock.

    One hour later I go check again and she's back in the nest box, sitting on SIX giant eggs (not hers, obviously!), firmly entrenched.

    She looked so zoned out!

    I picked her up, well more like peeled her off the eggs and put her outside again, then gathered the eggs.

    She was taking a dust bath when I left.

    My newbie question: has she gone broody??

    If yes, what should I do? I can't let her hatch any babies, we're heading for a long winter of DEEP FREEZE and the coop isn't set up for babies or anything. Should I just keep taking her off the nests and gathering the eggs? I don't mind if she doesn't lay since her minuscule eggs are a joke anyways [​IMG]

    Thank you!!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  2. THough1956

    THough1956 Songster

    I have 3 on eggs right now. She could very well raise her chicks in winter and they would be fine. Or keep taking her off and get rid of the eggs! This will take some work, silkies are very determined to be broody.

    Good luck.[​IMG]
  3. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I think it would be crazy to let her hatch babies in the middle of winter...

    My coop isn't set up and I have no knowledge about chicks AT ALL!

    Plus the babies would all have a silkie father so that means crappy egg production... not sure sexlinks x silkies are a good idea [​IMG]

    If I keep gathering the eggs and taking her off the nests, will she un-brood at some point and resume to normal?

  4. THough1956

    THough1956 Songster

    Yes, just keep all the eggs gathered and as often as you can, toss her out into the yard or lot with the rest of the flock. She will set forever if you let her. They are that way!! If I don't gather eggs for 1 day, at least 1 hen will go broody.
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Be prepared to fight a long hard battle with her though. Silkies are determined broodies and it takes a lot to deter one. I had one go broody in December last year and another in January. I finally gave up trying to break them and gave them each 6 eggs to play with. Both hatched out 3 chicks each and did great. Happy as could be and the babies were fine. I gave mine mutt eggs from the large fowl girls so the hatchlings were something I thought I would either keep or be able to sell. It worked out fine. The weather was even freakishly cold for Tennessee during that period. I thought for sure the chicks would be too cold, but mama hen had them out in the run on day three. When they got cold they would dive up under her to warm up and then would zip back out to play. It was great.

    Good luck either way!
  6. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    OK so... if I let my silkie sit on some eggs they would be sexlinks x silkie crosses... hmmm.

    I guess I could live with that...

    Do broody hens still lay eggs?

    So how does this work, do I let her sit in one of the three nesting boxes with some eggs and she won't move from there until they're hatched?

    Or can I move her and some selected eggs to a special corner where she has her food, water and where I can set up a heating lamp later?

    Where is the best place to get information on the whole process? Lenght of time to hatch, special requirements, diets, etc?

    I have a million questions! [​IMG]
  7. Jimmiaandboys

    Jimmiaandboys Chirping

    Jul 13, 2009
    Bennington County, VT
    I'm really curious about this, too. We have a splash orpington that has been laying for 2 months and has been nest box bound for the last 2 days. I lifted her slightly with thick leather gloves (she nips at me now) and didn't see any eggs under her. She's so large it would probably be a nightmare prying her out so I'm hoping she tires of it soon. I never see her out of the box I fed her cottage cheese from a spoon yesterday, hoping it would lure her out-no luck![​IMG] I'd love to hear the advice of the experienced![​IMG]
  8. THough1956

    THough1956 Songster

    OK, So where do I start.

    Broody hens do not lay eggs. After a chicken lays so many eggs, they will go broody, whatever the cycle is, I think Silkies more often! It could be she has just decided to roost in a box. Some of mine do. But if you go out a different times and she is still on eggs, she if broody. If you try to reach under her or mess with her does she make a growling sound or peck at you, or fluff up--she is broody.

    If you only have a Silkie Rooster, with a silkie hen, they will be 100% Silkie. Is there another rooster in your lot? If so, yes they will more than likely be mixes.

    You don't really need a heat lamp if you leave the babies with mom, she will keep them plenty warm. I would her in a seperate little area away from the other chickens. Other hens sometimes will kill baby chicks.

    You may be able to move her and her eggs. Do it at night. It take 21 days from the day the hen starts setting on the eggs for them to hatch.

    Does that cover it all?
  9. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Yes, it's a good start for the information - thanks!

    There will be no silkie babies since I put her last egg from today in the fridge... from what I am hearing she will NOT lay any more eggs for a while.

    I don't have any other silkie hens (except a baby), so the chicks, if any, will be mutts... [​IMG]

    She won't get out of the nest box.

    I take her outside, she runs right back in.

    Silly girl! [​IMG]

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