Silkie Mystery

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by biddyboo, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    We've had five Silkies, age 8 mos to one and a half years, for two months now. No rooster. In the beginning, we were getting four eggs daily. Recently it had dropped to three, and then only one this past week. Two of the little hens are very broody, rarely leaving their nest boxes, often doubling up in one box. This morning, thinking I'd check to see if they were on eggs, I reached under one, only to find my hand a sticky yellow mess. I picked her up, she protesting loudly of course, to see sticky yellow egg smeared all over her underbelly where she had been nesting. I saw no trace of shell, just the raw egg mess, and I'd never seen this before. Why am I suddenly finding no little white Silkie eggs, and what on earth went on with this Silkie today, egg smeared all over her underside? Are they eating their eggs? No shells. I'd love some suggestions or advice. By the way, she hasn't cleaned herself, something I thought she'd do. Guess she's due for a bath in spite of single digit temps. Thanks. ~G
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    Cross Lanes, WV
    could be it was a soft shell egg, what are you feeding? Are they getting enough calcium?
     
  3. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Silkies are not good layers. They lay for about a month and then stop, then a month or so later they may start up again.[​IMG]

    What you are seeing on her is probably what is left from a broken egg. If the girls are trying to share a nest box they probably got in a bit of a struggle and accidentally broke one. They would gobble the shell and any mess they could see (Silkies often have too much fluff to see everything well.). It is a protection from predators. Chickens can't clean themselves that well when they are broody and mostly try to keep the nest clean.
    You won't ever see many eggs through the year from the girls and if you do then they take that as a clue to go broody. I have 2 Silkies now on eggs. When they go broody I use it to my advantage. I hatch and raise chicks all year around. [​IMG]

    Our snow just melted off and the highs here are in the upper 30's. I still have a few Silkies and Frizzles laying in that pen but I remove all the eggs that are not marked for hatching. I leave my Silkies in their flocks and the chicks will grow up in the flock if I am not too concerned about the breed I am hatching. The eggs they are on now though are the Mille Fleur bantam Cochins and as soon as they hatch they go to a brooder for safe keeping. My Silkies are not the greatest of mothers.
     
  4. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
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    Thank you for the replies above. I'll think about the calcium and try to increase that in their diets. And Nadine, you've given me several pieces of information based on your experience with Silkies, the best kind of help. That explains why we've gone from four eggs out of five little hens to none or only one. I'll not be surprised by up and down production from them now. Perhaps they did struggle over the nest box and broke an egg, only to gobble it all up, little piglets! It's funny that they are so broody, but you say they don't make exceptional mothers, --that surprised me. Again, thanks to you both...~G
     

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