Silkie mom taking care of 2 week olds & sitting on eggs???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nwsilkie, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. nwsilkie

    nwsilkie New Egg

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    Our darling silkie "Princess" decided to become broody more than a month ago. We finally stuffed 4 chicks under her 2 weeks ago. She was doing great, teaching the chicks to drink, eat, scratch, peck etc.etc and keeping them warm too.

    Last night we came home to find her back in the nest box. She had the 4 chicks under her, but also 2 eggs that our other hens had laid. What??? Is she planning on hatching new eggs while taking care of her 4 chicks? Am I at risk of having her abandon the chicks?
     
  2. flappinhappy

    flappinhappy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    remove the eggs
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    X2 It's better to remove the eggs and let her focus on the chicks.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    She probably just settled down on the nest overnight with her chicks. Those eggs being there probably had nothing at all to do with it. I very seriously doubt she is planning on hatching any more eggs. She just wanted a safe place to keep her chicks overnight.

    It has happened to me several times. A broody first keeps her chicks on the floor of the coop. After a while, sometimes a few days sometimes a few weeks, she moves up to a nest. Silkies are different because of the feathers, but usually mine are just transitioning from the floor to the roosts.
     
  5. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read somewhere Silkies didn't roost. I was worried when I got mine because the 4 silkie bantam hens wouldn't get up on the roosts. I looked it up and it said Silkies didnt roost.
     
  6. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    Silkies will gladly roost if you give them a roost low enuf to the ground. Silkies can't fly to get up on a higher roost like most other birds. I put my roosts about 6-8 inches apart with the lowest 1 not more than 8 inches off the floor for my Silkies & they climb right up. You just need to make sure they are able to jump or step up onto the bottom 1 in order to reach them.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Some Silkies don't roost. They stay on the ground at night. With their feathers they can't fly so that restricts them. They may have trouble getting up or they may have trouble getting down.

    If they can get up on a roost, maybe something low they can hop on or maybe with a ramp they can walk up and down, some Silkies will spend the night on a roost. Some, not necessarily all.

    I have no idea what the OP's set-up is, where the nests are or anything like that. I don't know if that Silkie normally roosts or not. I was just giving my experience of why a broody may take her chidcks to a nest, whether there are eggs in there or not. We haven't heard back, but I still think the eggs had nothing to do with why that broody took the chicks to that nest.
     
  8. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    True, some of my Silkies still don't roost even with low roosts. They prefer to snuggle together in a pile in the corner. My roosting birds tend to stay much cleaner & need far fewer baths than my chick pile birds so I try to encourage roosting when possible. My nest boxes for my Silkies sit right on the floor so all they have to do is step in so the only reason I have any experience with a hen moving babies back into a nest box is for warmth. The nest box is more enclosed & allows her to isolate the chicks & keep them warmer & closer together. With temps dropping as fall/winter rapidly approaches that would be my guess as to her motive for taking them to the nest box. I would still remove the eggs just so she doesn't get side-tracked by their presence. I would give the chicks at least another 2-3 weeks with momma with the cold weather approaching.
     
  9. nwsilkie

    nwsilkie New Egg

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    Thanks for all the thoughts. You were right, she moved back to her original nest box after a few night of attempting to sit on everyone's eggs. She hasn't attempted that again since & and the chicks are doing well.

    One of my silkie's roosts. (the other one, Princess just likes to set :) Especially now since she seems to play all day in the rain and comes back drenched. She huddles on the roost between two of the big girls. Sigh... I'm convinced she is going to get sick being all wet. This is seattle, it will rain another 8 months! I can't seem to keep her out of the rain and dry, although there is a lot of room under the coop to stay dry. She prefers to run around in the rain with the other girls!
     
  10. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a couple Silkies who do the same thing. My daughter has a habit of "rescuing" 1 in particular every time it rains & bringing her in the house for a warm bath & a fluff in front of the heater. Poor thing looks like a drowned rat all covered in mud & then is miraculously her fluffy self again once my daughter is done with her.
     

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