Two Silkie hens both want to sit on the one nest....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tilly56, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Tilly56

    Tilly56 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2017
    My two silkie hens are doing something rather strange (at least it is strange to me!).

    The white one has been sitting on a nest for just over a week (there are 9 eggs, but I cannot be sure she laid them all). Yesterday afternoon, she got off her nest for a walk round the garden, and the next thing I saw was the black silkie sitting on the eggs!

    It is possible that some of the eggs are hers,I have no way of knowing.

    Anyway, this morning the eggs had been divided into two lots (by the hens) and the white was on one lot and the black on the other.

    Then the black one got off the nest and went into the garden and the white one rolled all the eggs back into the one nest and sat on them.

    I put a barrier in front of the hen house to stop the black one getting onto the eggs again..... or so I thought - as when I got home half an hour ago, there she was on the nest with the white one!

    They are sitting back to back (looks like a two headed chicken!), on the eggs.

    What should I do? Just let them get on with it?

    Is this usual behaviour?

    I wondered whether the black one could have realised that some of the eggs are maybe hers so wants to hatch them - or is she just broody?

    What will happen when the chicks hatch?

    Any ideas?

    Many thanks

    Tilly[​IMG]



    ps - Have just had a hunt on internet and have seen that there are several threads about this.... so apparently not that unusual... - but what would you advise, leave the second hen or take her off and shut her out?!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    That is regular silkie behavior. They will sit on anything and nothing. They don't care if it's their own eggs or even a light bulb. Most silkie are wonderful mothers. I would let them just figure it out themselves.

    What you should be concerned with is marking the eggs when a hen begins to set so no one adds eggs to the hatch. When they do you end up with a staggered hatch and abandoned half developed chicks as hens will leave the nest 2-3 days after the first hatches generally.
     
  3. Tilly56

    Tilly56 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Oldhenlikesdogs,

    Thank you so much for your reply.

    I suppose I'm putting "human" thoughts into my hens' heads and worrying if Layla (the black silkie) adopts all the chicks then Laurence (white one) will be unhappy! Here they are cuddling up to each other last night.

    Next time I will do as you say and mark the eggs so I have more of an idea what is happening. [​IMG]
    Tilly
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The black hen is likely still laying, so you will in all likely hood have a staggered hatch.

    Staggered hatches don't go well as oldhenlikesdogs said. In fact staggered hatches are a "good" way to not hatch any chicks.

    If a hen can not tell the difference between a golf ball or a light bulb and one of her own "children" then I would not worry too much about her feelings or lack of "feelings"
     
  5. Tilly56

    Tilly56 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Chickengeorgeto,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    The black hen has left the nest, the white one is back on it.... so I have blocked the white hen inside and put the three eggs that were under the black one next door... at the moment she's having a roll in the garden, but I'll keep an eye on her to see what she does. Complicated!!

    Tilly[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  6. Tilly56

    Tilly56 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, we have success!! The little black silkie is now happily sitting on the three eggs I put in the other hutch. I've shut the door and given both of them food and water in the hutch, so hopefully they will get used to staying on their own eggs!

    Fingers crossed!

    Tilly[​IMG]
     

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