Silkie not laying and acting broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nikkimarie15, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Nikkimarie15

    Nikkimarie15 Hatching

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    my 1 year old silkie started laying in December and was laying consistently. She was still on the freedom chick starter crumble food. When that ran out we switched her to a layer pellet food. This was 2 weeks ago. About a week later she wasn’t laying and just sat in her nesting box consistently all day. I have since switched her back to a crumble since she didn’t like the pellet texture. But she still isn’t laying. I’ve checked for mites/parasites - nothing. I gave her a warm bath and felt around her stomach and other than pooping a lot which smelled horrible, it didn’t appear to help. I’m not sure if she’s egg bound though because I will get her out of her nesting box and let her run free in the yard. But she will try to scratch and make a hole/nest is the yard where she can to sit in. She will walk around all day, eat and drink water but then gets fiesty when I try to put her back in the coop, even though she wants to sit in her box. All I can think is She is acting broody - but with no eggs or no rooster!! Or is she able to walk around egg bound? Any ideas of why she isn’t laying or acting like this all of a sudden?
     
  2. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Crowing

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    When you say you get her out and she then walks around until you out her back - do you mean she doesn't leave on her own? That sounds very much like broody behaviour. When a hen is broody she will want to sit on her nest all day and night and if she gets up for a break or is removed, she will often just start trying to dig little hole nests in the ground outside. She will also walk around kind of puffed up and making little clucking noises almost constantly and be extra wary of other chickens. If not allowed back to her nest, she will pace around outside the door/entrance and act distressed. Does this accurately describe your silkie?

    If yes she is broody. She most likely stopped laying because she went broody. Hens don't need a rooster around to go broody.
     
  3. haileyeverhart

    haileyeverhart Songster

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    She is definitely broody. Silkies are notorious for being broody. All my silkie hens have been broody at one point or another. She could act like this for months if you don't give her babies or stop her. If you want to stop her you put her in a wire cage with food and water where she can't get to her nest or make a nest. It's hard (I've never done it, just given my broodies babies, I'm a sucker) but it will work. Good luck!
     
  4. Kessel23

    Kessel23 Hi Bug

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    Hi Hannah
    I have been told that you can break a hens broodiness by putting her in a cage with a wire bottom. Apparently this works because it drys the hen out, she can not control humidity with a wire floor and then the broody is broken and she goes back to normal. I have not tried this to break a broody because I like having broodies hatch out chicks but I was told this is the way to do it.
     
  5. Nikkimarie15

    Nikkimarie15 Hatching

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    Apr 4, 2018
    Yes I remove her from the nesting box and coop and let her in the yard and she does dig little holes trying to sit back down like in a nest.
     
    haileyeverhart likes this.
  6. Nikkimarie15

    Nikkimarie15 Hatching

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    Yep sounds exactly like broody behavior then. Good to know. I have a friend that will have silkie chicks in about 5 weeks, so I’ll have to decide to give her babies or break the brooding
     
    Kessel23 likes this.
  7. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Crowing

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    Give her the babies! (sorry, I'm an enabler)
     
    haileyeverhart likes this.
  8. Nikkimarie15

    Nikkimarie15 Hatching

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    Do you give her eggs to sit on and hatch or baby chicks
     
  9. haileyeverhart

    haileyeverhart Songster

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    Eggs to sit on are best for a broody, but sometimes chicks work if you fake her out and make it seem like she hatched them! Like by giving her eggs, then removing her and feeding her (distracting her) and then removing the eggs and putting the day old chicks where the eggs used to be. BUT sometimes the hen may reject them, so giving her fertile eggs are the best route.
     

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