Weird Broody (Maybe) Behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Urchin, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Urchin

    Urchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody silkie hen. I tried the whole putting her in a wire cage thing for four days (didn't break her), but she ended up scratching on the wire and causing abrasions on her foot. Now I'm treating bumblefoot in her and just letting her be broody while I do so. The swelling in her footpad looks considerably better when she's not up on her feet so I'm thinking not having constant pressure on it might help the healing. Therefore I have to take her off her nest for soakings, ointments and wrappings. When I do, another silkie hen she's in with goes into the nest to set on the wooden eggs I have in there. As soon as I put the broody hen back, the temporary nest setter gets up and goes back to her business as usual. She's not laying an egg there because she does that in the neighboring nest. What the heck? I always thought a hen was either broody or not. What's with this helper hen? Is this some silkie thing? I've only been keeping silkies a little over a year now and am by no means an expert in their behavior.
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    I have two Buff Orpington's that are a tag team of broody. Everyone seems to want to break broodies, but all methods seem so cruel and the textbooks on chicken behavior seem to all agree that methods to break it really don't work, and it is best to just let them get over it. Mine swap between nest boxes all the time. *** Wooden Eggs***- When my pullets first started laying, advice to place fake eggs did get them to locate and use the nests. But the first broody episode was on my ceramic egg…removed it and she came out of broody hormones the next day. Now the two broody twins sit on empty nests and everyone else's eggs.. But they do get over it on their own, and we just let nature take care of itself. And have to search under the broodies daily to collect eggs!

    Sorry about the injured foot. Sounds like you are doing well with your first aid.
     
  3. Urchin

    Urchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's just weird because Ella, the temporary nest sitter, has absolutely no interest in eggs unless P.J., the injured broody, is not on the nest. I guess Ella figures someone ought to be sitting on those eggs. [​IMG] I'm keeping wooden ones in there to encourage P.J. to stay broody. Her foot looks so much better when she's not standing on it all day. Oddly enough I had another silkie go broody after she escaped the Designated Chicken Area, went foraging around the hot ashes of my burn pile and burned the pad on her right foot. I hate to think how bad that could have been had I not been around to hear her squawk. But broodiness seems contagious among my silkies. I have four on nests right now.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    I have read that broodiness is contagious.
     
  5. Urchin

    Urchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ella still sits on the eggs whenever P.J. is taken out for soaking, but otherwise has no interest in them. It's just fascinating to watch. Ella hatched P.J., so maybe she just really wants grandchildren? [​IMG]
     

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