Trying to break a broody Silkie who is still laying. Should I allow her quick visits to nest box or

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lilyeti, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    26
    May 29, 2014
    So I have a sweet Silkie who has been broody for about 4 days. We don't have a rooster, and I would like to continue to get eggs, so I've been trying to break her broody cycle by putting her in a "broody breaker," or a little wire bottom kennel to get good airflow underneath her. She's been in there for 1 day and doing fine with food and water, but when I let her out she still runs back to the nest box. I've read that if they do this, they still need more time in the broody breaker. Problem is she is still laying eggs (and yes, she is definitely broody even though she's still laying! Puffing up, growling, biting, etc) so I figured it would be more comfortable for her to do this in her nest box.

    My question is: Is it okay to allow her 30 minutes in the nest box to lay her egg, and then put her back in the broody breaker, or am I ruining all of our progress by allowing her in the nest box for any period of time? Basically I just want her to be comfortable, and figured laying an egg on a wire bottom cage wouldn't be super pleasant for her.

    I have the feeling as I'm writing this that I'm mothering her way too much and should stop worrying, but would love to hear what you guys think! [​IMG]

    Also, any tips for where to put the broody breaker? It's in her run right now, but she's able to stare at the nest box all day and I'm wondering if that will make it harder to break her.[​IMG]

    Thanks!! Gotta love those crazy silkies....
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'd keep her in jail till you let her out and she doesn't immediately go back into the nest.

    She likely won't lay an egg if she's still broody.
    A hen on an egg farm lays in a cage every day of her short life.

    IMHO, it doesn't matter what she can see.
    We always hung the cages from the ceiling of the hen house.

    It will take 2 or 3 days, more or less, depending on how long she's been broody.
     
  3. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    26
    May 29, 2014
    Thanks!! I think you're totally right. Before reading your reply I let her in the box for a half hour, and when I came back she had pulled about 10 of her chest feathers out to feather the nest, so she's definitely still broody.

    Hopefully if she does need to lay, she'll just do it in her broody breaker. I'd rather do that then slow down her progress. I want my sweet silkie back!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,538
    2,473
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Chances are she's laid her final egg and won't be laying any more. I'd go ahead and finish breaking her. If she lays still one more egg, which would be surprising at this point, so what? You just have an egg is all.

    I have, on more than one occasion, been transferring a broody from the nest to the broody-breaker cage only to have an egg slip out of my broody when I was so sure she had laid that last egg already.

    Also, more than once, I've had a broody lay an egg in the broody cage after being in it for a day. Surprise! But no big deal. As long as there's no doubt in your mind your hen is broody, go ahead and break her.
     
  5. lilyeti

    lilyeti Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    26
    May 29, 2014
    Thanks @azygous ! I'll go ahead and keep her in the broody breaker until she stops bee-lining it to the nest box the second I let her out.

    So if she needs to, she will allow herself to lay an egg inside the broody breaker cage? I guess I was worried that if she wasn't in the nest box and needed to lay, she wouldn't and could become egg-bound. I'm overthinking it, it sounds like...
     
  6. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,576
    165
    158
    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    They are so frustrating, aren't they?!

    I've always found that once I've put my hens into the Broody Buster cage they automatically stop laying from that point anyway. In fact, I've had lots of broody hens this season and not a single one has actually laid an egg in "Busterville". This is despite the fact that on occasion some of my girls have gone broody and continued to lay in the nest for a couple of days, obviously in an attempt to gather a decent sized clutch underneath them to hatch.

    It is amazing how fast a broody hen can run though. And you're right - the phrase 'beeline' is very accurate! They just shoot off, at great speed, directly for the nest! They do make me laugh sometimes [​IMG]

    I've had a girl locked up now for 5 days. At night I usually block off the nest boxes and allow her to roost with the others, but last night hubby locked them away and forgot to block the nests off.

    Guess who I found sitting in a nest, quietly rocking back and forth and singing to herself this morning?!

    [​IMG]

    Back to the drawing board - Day 1....

    - Krista
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,538
    2,473
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Yeah, they sure are frustrating, especially the serial broodies. I have one that took NINE days to break last time around. I think it was her thirteenth broody spell.

    And it's no problem for her, if she still has an egg she needs to lay, to do it in the cage. It will not make her egg-bound. If she does have an egg she still needs to lay, she will become extremely agitated, being very vocal when she sees you, demanding to be let out. Ignore her. She'll lay her egg right there in the cage. They usually won't break.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by