Strange behaviour of silkies

mjvv88

Songster
Mar 30, 2019
70
171
136
South Africa
Not sure where to ask about my silkies weird behaviour recently. I have 2 silkies, both female, almost a year old. I see when they are in the nesting box, busy laying an egg, they put some of the wood shavings on their back. Looks cute though, not sure if normal. Then the other day, the one ate some dried out poop. Why? And then today, the 2 sisters starts fighting over the snacks/food I gave them. They never done this before. Are they just moody or because they are getting older? Please help with advise as I'm still new and learning as I go along.
 

ashlierami

Songster
Feb 9, 2017
871
1,553
232
Alabama
Not sure where to ask about my silkies weird behaviour recently. I have 2 silkies, both female, almost a year old. I see when they are in the nesting box, busy laying an egg, they put some of the wood shavings on their back. Looks cute though, not sure if normal. Then the other day, the one ate some dried out poop. Why? And then today, the 2 sisters starts fighting over the snacks/food I gave them. They never done this before. Are they just moody or because they are getting older? Please help with advise as I'm still new and learning as I go along.
The only time I have seen my silkies/silkie mixes do the shavings on their back is when they are about to or are broody. Silkies are very popular for their broody nature. My silkies will also eat alot more and "bulk" up before going broody I assume to prepare for the 21 day no food journey. The fighting over treats I see in my flock daily because of course every "bird" for themselves lol. They want all the food for themselves. It could be they are just hormonal and grumpy due to broodiness. The eating poop thing could also be from needed nutrients. Make sure they get enough protein either in their feed or boiled eggs as a treat.
 

mjvv88

Songster
Mar 30, 2019
70
171
136
South Africa
The only time I have seen my silkies/silkie mixes do the shavings on their back is when they are about to or are broody. Silkies are very popular for their broody nature. My silkies will also eat alot more and "bulk" up before going broody I assume to prepare for the 21 day no food journey. The fighting over treats I see in my flock daily because of course every "bird" for themselves lol. They want all the food for themselves. It could be they are just hormonal and grumpy due to broodiness. The eating poop thing could also be from needed nutrients. Make sure they get enough protein either in their feed or boiled eggs as a treat.

Mine eat a lot all the time. They have been broody a few times before and they didn't fight. This was the first time. Luckily nothing serious, but I watch them closely. They get fruit, vegetables and meal worms regularly. They also forage the whole garden for bugs and things. They also get plain yogurt and oats in the winter. Will try the boiled egg as sometimes their fussy on the treat side. I only saw her once eat the poop though. Thanks.
 

AuntieWeasel

Songster
Jun 23, 2019
104
168
116
Sussex
I used to have a camera in the nest box. I have seen this behavior in more than one broody. I have straw in the nest box, and the hen will pick up a single piece of hay, put it on her back and then look around like, "ta-da!"

I have no idea what it means, but it appears to be within the range of normal chicken behavior.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
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Washington State
Mine eat a lot all the time. They have been broody a few times before and they didn't fight. This was the first time. Luckily nothing serious, but I watch them closely. They get fruit, vegetables and meal worms regularly. They also forage the whole garden for bugs and things. They also get plain yogurt and oats in the winter. Will try the boiled egg as sometimes their fussy on the treat side. I only saw her once eat the poop though. Thanks.
Do you give them formulated feed?
 

mjvv88

Songster
Mar 30, 2019
70
171
136
South Africa
How much eggs do silkies lay? Mine have lay eggs before and gone broody. Recently my black silkie laid an egg a day and it's almost about 20 eggs now (if not more) and she hasn't gone broody yet. My white silkie laid only about half as much, and she is broody now. Can they lay 2 eggs on a day?
 

ashlierami

Songster
Feb 9, 2017
871
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Alabama
How much eggs do silkies lay? Mine have lay eggs before and gone broody. Recently my black silkie laid an egg a day and it's almost about 20 eggs now (if not more) and she hasn't gone broody yet. My white silkie laid only about half as much, and she is broody now. Can they lay 2 eggs on a day?
Going broody relies on hormones. It does seem like a clutch of eggs does encourage broody behavior if they are the type to be prone to it but not always. 2 eggs a day can happen but it won't be everyday and usual if 2 are laid today then tomorrow they won't lay at all or even the next. With good sunlight, good nutrition and fresh water they can and usuallly will lay once a day unless age or reproductive issues are a factor. Also during winter when the days are shorter you may not get an egg per day.
 

mjvv88

Songster
Mar 30, 2019
70
171
136
South Africa
Going broody relies on hormones. It does seem like a clutch of eggs does encourage broody behavior if they are the type to be prone to it but not always. 2 eggs a day can happen but it won't be everyday and usual if 2 are laid today then tomorrow they won't lay at all or even the next. With good sunlight, good nutrition and fresh water they can and usuallly will lay once a day unless age or reproductive issues are a factor. Also during winter when the days are shorter you may not get an egg per day.
They are both a year old now. They both laid about 8-10 eggs before going broody previously. It's the end of autumn and start of spring here. So I guess they are healthy and happy chickens.
 

MANNA-PRO

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