Silkie is broody after only 3 weeks of laying

May 28, 2020
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Our silkie bantam is broody, no roo so she can't actually hatch them. Just started laying 3 weeks ago and already glued to the nest box for the past 4 days! I've read a few articles about it but had a couple of questions:

Is there any problem with me removing her from the nest box (as long as she allows it?) I have a webcam in the coop and see she isn't leaving for extended periods of time for food or water, so I've been taking her out in the morning and once during the day. So far she's very puffy but hasn't been aggressive with me...yet.

Second question is if mean behavior is standard with the rest of the flock? Assuming so because I'm moving her and putting her with the rest of them. She has been getting into it with another one of our girls badly and both of them ended up with bleeding combs afterward today.

Thanks in advance for any tips on handling this! If I should just leave her alone, I will, but want to make sure she stays healthy and all of them stay safe.
 

Yardmom

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May 3, 2018
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Yes Broody chickens are likely to fight with the flock. You should break her from being broody if you are not getting chicks. Yes you should move her out. You should also do your best to make sure she does not have eggs under her. If this does not work you will need to create a cage for breaking broody..
 

Kiraeh

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Jun 8, 2020
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One of mine went broody a couple weeks ago after just a month of laying too. She was off and on for a week, then more serious for a couple days, started plucking out her breast feathers so I got more serious about breaking her too. I tossed her out of the coop any time I was in the run, but I think what helped most was moving my decoy eggs and, when I closed up the coop for the night, moving her from the nest box to a roost(since in the dark she can't find her way to the nest box again). Might not be enough to break a more serious brood tho.
 
May 28, 2020
409
468
156
One of mine went broody a couple weeks ago after just a month of laying too. She was off and on for a week, then more serious for a couple days, started plucking out her breast feathers so I got more serious about breaking her too. I tossed her out of the coop any time I was in the run, but I think what helped most was moving my decoy eggs and, when I closed up the coop for the night, moving her from the nest box to a roost(since in the dark she can't find her way to the nest box again). Might not be enough to break a more serious brood tho.

Oh, I should try moving to the roost - good idea!
 
May 28, 2020
409
468
156
Yes Broody chickens are likely to fight with the flock. You should break her from being broody if you are not getting chicks. Yes you should move her out. You should also do your best to make sure she does not have eggs under her. If this does not work you will need to create a cage for breaking broody..

I'm a newbie - what's the risk of broodiness if no chicks? She's laid an egg each day which I've removed each day, but realizing this might just cause extended broodiness anyway.
 
May 28, 2020
409
468
156
One of mine went broody a couple weeks ago after just a month of laying too. She was off and on for a week, then more serious for a couple days, started plucking out her breast feathers so I got more serious about breaking her too. I tossed her out of the coop any time I was in the run, but I think what helped most was moving my decoy eggs and, when I closed up the coop for the night, moving her from the nest box to a roost(since in the dark she can't find her way to the nest box again). Might not be enough to break a more serious brood tho.

Just had success putting her on the roost, hope this sticks! She grumbled and settled in, checked on her and she seems to be leaving her buddies alone. Thanks for the tip!
 

rosemarythyme

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I'm a newbie - what's the risk of broodiness if no chicks? She's laid an egg each day which I've removed each day, but realizing this might just cause extended broodiness anyway.

If she's still laying she's not quite set on brooding yet, but might be thinking seriously about it.

In worst case scenario, birds have died from setting (staying broody). More commonly, she'll strip her belly of feathers and lose some weight/body condition. IMO it's really for the best to break them if you're not going to hatch, both for the broody's health and for peace in the flock, as a broody can really cause some upset to flock dynamics (you're already seeing this).

Broody jail: Put her in an isolation cage with some food and water, in sight of the others (in the coop if it's not too hot or in/near the run is ideal). A wire cage elevated to air flow under her would be the best option, however I've used everything from a brooder to a dog exercise pen.

Keep her in the cage around the clock for about 2 days. At that time, if she's shows fewer signs of broodiness (puffing up, flattening down and growling, tik tik tik noise) you can let her out to test her. If she runs back to the nest at any point (usually they don't do it immediately, but maybe after 15 minutes, maybe an hour) then she's not yet sufficiently broken and needs to go back to the cage for another 24 hours. Then let her out and test her again. Repeat until she's no longer going to the nest box.

IF the isolation cage is not safe for overnight stay (i.e. sits outside the run) then put her on the roost at night, and retrieve her from the nest box the next morning and put her back in the cage. It may take a little longer this way but better than letting a predator get to her.
 
May 28, 2020
409
468
156
If she's still laying she's not quite set on brooding yet, but might be thinking seriously about it.

In worst case scenario, birds have died from setting (staying broody). More commonly, she'll strip her belly of feathers and lose some weight/body condition. IMO it's really for the best to break them if you're not going to hatch, both for the broody's health and for peace in the flock, as a broody can really cause some upset to flock dynamics (you're already seeing this).

Broody jail: Put her in an isolation cage with some food and water, in sight of the others (in the coop if it's not too hot or in/near the run is ideal). A wire cage elevated to air flow under her would be the best option, however I've used everything from a brooder to a dog exercise pen.

Keep her in the cage around the clock for about 2 days. At that time, if she's shows fewer signs of broodiness (puffing up, flattening down and growling, tik tik tik noise) you can let her out to test her. If she runs back to the nest at any point (usually they don't do it immediately, but maybe after 15 minutes, maybe an hour) then she's not yet sufficiently broken and needs to go back to the cage for another 24 hours. Then let her out and test her again. Repeat until she's no longer going to the nest box.

IF the isolation cage is not safe for overnight stay (i.e. sits outside the run) then put her on the roost at night, and retrieve her from the nest box the next morning and put her back in the cage. It may take a little longer this way but better than letting a predator get to her.

You're such a gem, thank you so much for your activity here! You answered a lot of my early raising chicks questions.

Is broody jail a first line of defense or something you should do pretty quick? Luckily have gotten her out free ranging for a bit each day with everyone else, but also she's more temperamental as noted. Per another commenter's suggestion, she's on the roost now but expecting to find her in the nesting box in the AM. I don't think she's fully broody as you pointed out, but definitely near it. She's not aggressive with me at all, but puffing up and sticking to her spot.

Overall curious about "breaking" broodiness or if this is something I can expect from her on an ongoing basis, especially considering her breed.
 

rosemarythyme

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You're such a gem, thank you so much for your activity here! You answered a lot of my early raising chicks questions.

Is broody jail a first line of defense or something you should do pretty quick? Luckily have gotten her out free ranging for a bit each day with everyone else, but also she's more temperamental as noted. Per another commenter's suggestion, she's on the roost now but expecting to find her in the nesting box in the AM. I don't think she's fully broody as you pointed out, but definitely near it. She's not aggressive with me at all, but puffing up and sticking to her spot.

Overall curious about "breaking" broodiness or if this is something I can expect from her on an ongoing basis, especially considering her breed.

I personally break immediately upon seeing broody behavior, as they'll break faster if you catch it early on. Even birds that are sorta half-and-half broody, I put them in the breaker and that knocks them out of that state pretty quick. Having peace back in the flock is worth it to me.

Silkies are notorious for being broody so expect this to be something you'll be dealing with on a regular basis. Some folks think it's even "contagious," that the hormones of the broody will affect the other birds, then you end up with an endless chain of birds going broody. :gig
 
May 28, 2020
409
468
156
I personally break immediately upon seeing broody behavior, as they'll break faster if you catch it early on. Even birds that are sorta half-and-half broody, I put them in the breaker and that knocks them out of that state pretty quick. Having peace back in the flock is worth it to me.

Silkies are notorious for being broody so expect this to be something you'll be dealing with on a regular basis. Some folks think it's even "contagious," that the hormones of the broody will affect the other birds, then you end up with an endless chain of birds going broody. :gig

Breaking early makes sense! The ones who show the behavior early...how often do they go broody again after breaking?
 

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