1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Silkies won't go broody...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ameliadanielle, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. ameliadanielle

    ameliadanielle Chillin' With My Peeps

    493
    41
    118
    Feb 18, 2015
    I know. I know. My silkies are broken. They will not go broody. When I first got them in the summer they each laid an egg and then that was it. No more. Until October. They began laying again in October after they were moved into a pen with our silkie rooster. It took me weeks to find a nest box they would actually use. I'm pretty sure only one hen of the two was laying at all again. As I was getting one egg every two days. The eggs were willy nilly laid anywhere. Never in the nest box. Always right on the grass. I would take them out. I took out 8 over a two week period, and continued to get an egg every other day laid in the grass and ignored. Finally I found a nest box they will use! So 6 eggs were laid in the nest, carefully arranged. I left them there thinking the hen would go broody. Nope. After the 6th egg was laid, no more eggs were laid at all. The 6 eggs have sat in the nest box for almost two weeks and I'm about to take them out and toss them. They are not laying anymore eggs and they are not sitting on the ones in the box.

    How do you make a silkie hen go broody? I know they have never been mothers before, but they have to become moms at some point. I thought silkies would just go broody and there was nothing to do to change that. I expected they would go broody. Not mine. They have no interest in sitting on eggs. Should I just try to find a hen that WILL raise chicks and give up on these girls? They've been here for a LONG time now and neither have gone broody or even pretended to though they have had free access to all sorts of nests full of eggs from my egg laying hens. Once I penned them and started getting eggs again I was worried they were too nervous free ranging and were stressed out. They never moved farther than an area of about 10sq ft when free ranging. Now? They were laying and as long as I took the eggs out they kept laying. Now that have collected 6 eggs, they're done laying, and they're not going to sit on them.

    What in the world? I thought a nest of available eggs was like crack for silkies. Is there something I need to be doing differently for them?
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,385
    363
    218
    Apr 22, 2015

    I work to keep my silkies from going broody. How old are they? Check for health problems; especially parasites. My advice it to try again leaving their eggs as they are laid. If that fails again look elsewhere for broody stock. Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. ameliadanielle

    ameliadanielle Chillin' With My Peeps

    493
    41
    118
    Feb 18, 2015
    I do not know exactly how old they are. They were laying eggs already when I got them, and they were supposed to be under a year. We got them in the summer and then had weeks of really hot weather. So I thought that with the stress of being moved to a new home was why they stopped laying. Then they molted. They don't have any parasites. They are just not the sharpest tools in the shed. Because they were smaller I was giving them smaller nest boxes. they weren't impressed. They now have a nest box my big laying hens use. I'm going to toss their eggs today and see if they lay anymore. I even tried the trick of sitting them on a nest in the middle of the night. That didn't work. They just pooped all over them. I just don't know how I ended up with the only two silkies in the world it seems that don't want to sit on eggs.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    31,450
    3,460
    528
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Even super broody breeds like silkies sometimes know winter isn't the best time to raise babies. See what happens around March. If one hasn't gone broody by April or May, I'd sell them and look for other birds. But I'm thinking come spring they'll want to set.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    584
    233
    123
    Aug 16, 2013
    Broodiness appears to be genetic, some hatchery and feedstore silkies are less than pure, just as some are a little larger and have less head feathers, it stands to reason that they could lack broodiness as well. If they molted they may not go broody again until spring.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,127
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    X2 on donrae's post.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. ameliadanielle

    ameliadanielle Chillin' With My Peeps

    493
    41
    118
    Feb 18, 2015
    I mean... we're in south Georgia. We've been having weather in the 70s right now. They molted before fall. I was about to toss the eggs from the nest. Someone laid another one. Now there are 7. It's been 2 weeks and I don't know how long the eggs will keep or if they are any good now. It's been in the upper 50s at night and mid 70s during the day. I guess I'll give them another week. If one does go broody we will probably move her into the spare bedroom or the garage just in case it decides to finally get cold. This weather has totally killed deer season this year too. I have muscovies that were born in May and from everything I read they probably wouldn't even start laying until after their first winter. But in the land of constant summer I guess those rules don't apply. I've got a broody muscovy. Seems like everything at the house will go broody before my silkies do. Lol. I didn't even know my muscovies were laying until one stopped roosting and sleeping with the others and I set off on a mission to figure out where she was going at night. Just found her tonight under a bush in the front yard.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  8. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,385
    363
    218
    Apr 22, 2015

    My silkies lay 10-14 eggs to a clutch. When you said six and then nothing; that's what made me think there was a health problem. A health problem does not have to be major. Something small can cause egg production to stop and then right itself. When they start to lay again give them another chance.

    My silkies do not like small nest boxes. They like roomy, enclosed, and on the ground/floor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    77,282
    5,526
    686
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Do you have hatchery silkies? The "broodiness" may have been bred out of them. All silkies do not go broody. You can't make them go broody. They do so when their hormones tell them too. This time of year they may not be so inclined.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,385
    363
    218
    Apr 22, 2015

    Definitely true. Not all strains of a breed have the same capabilities.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by