What is wrong with this goofy hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by romien, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. romien

    romien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have this little silkie hen and this is her first time getting broody but I wonder if she has taking the job a little too far. I have removed her eggs and they are hatching in an incubator, but she still insists on sitting on the empty nest. She hasn't laid another egg in over a week and I tried pulling her off the nest several times, but she gets madder than all get out and jumps back on and goes into, what I call, her zen. My other breeds of hens do not do this and will not sit on an empty nest at all... Is this normal or is she just nutso?
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I imagine she might think the same thing of you!!!..... Can't believe you have put her eggs in an incubator when she's more than happy to do the job.... In my view, her behaviour is totally normal and yours is awry!

    But in answer to your question, proper broody hens, when "in the zone" will try to hatch anything or nothing and of course they will not lay eggs whilst they are broody. If you intend not to use her to incubate eggs then you need to break her of her broodiness by placing her in a wire bottomed cage chocked up off the ground with no bedding, so that air can flow underneath her and cool her down. The drop in temperature will cause her hormones to change and her behaviour to return to normal but it may take several weeks for her to resume laying.
     
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  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I agree with above poster. How many eggs do you have in the incubator? Why are you incubating them, when the hen will do a better job? What do you intend to do with the chicks? Do you have room in your coop for a broody hen and chicks? If so, why not give her all of the eggs (unless there are too many for her to cover completely) or even 1/2 of the eggs. You can stick them under her today and make her a very happy Mama. You could then continue to incubate 1/2 of the eggs, while she hatches the rest. When the hatch is complete, you could sneak the bator chicks under her. If you don't have the coop space, I hope you have plans to give away/sell the chicks immediately on hatching.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
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  4. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    Yes, you need to break her broodiness. Silkies can be the most persistent things when it comes to being broody :lol:
    They're amazing mamas, though, so next time you can leave the eggs under her if you want :) I've often gotten better hatch rates with silkies than my incubator
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  5. heatherlaw

    heatherlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed. Silkies make awesome little mammas! My silkie lady has an impressive 100% hatch rate so far (i dont count clears as those arent possible to hatch). She will sit on anything, as in literaly anything that will fit under her. Last time i wanted her to hatch some babies i left some round drawer pulls in the nest to make her broody. She sat on those for 3 days before i had saved enough eggs for her to hatch. I would take advatage of the free service she offers in raising chicks. Then you dont have to worry about dealing with a brooder or caring for the chicks and she will handle integrating them into the flock for you without the trouble! If youd rather leave the eggs in the bator you can always just give her golf balls or something to sit on and then switch them for chicks once they hatch. Do it at night and she will never know
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  6. romien

    romien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WOW, I didn't expect such a response, especially from the first two people. OUCH!! I was just trying to add a little humor to my post, but forget that! I am incubating the chicks because Mama is not tame at all and if she isn't tame, how the heck are the babies going to be tame. I am after tame silkies so I incubated 3 of her eggs. I have a huge shed for my coop, so space is not the problem and all my chickens are free ranging. I will never post any more questions here ever again. You guys are quite judgemental! I just asked a simple question.!!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. heatherlaw

    heatherlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry if it came across that way. Didnt mean to sound judgmental. If you dont want her to hatch then you will need a cage to break her. It might take some time as silkies are stubborn broodies. Mine takes usualy 4-5 days before she gives it up. I have to break her often because i dont think its good for her to hatch more than a couple times a year. Get a wire bottom cage and elevate it off the ground. Give her food and water and be sure shes getting lots of light (just not direct sun). Wait till she starts acting normal before you let her out. I usualy wait till mine looses the annoyed
    tuck-tuck-tuck sounds that broodies make. Just a heads up, silkies live to raise babies so be ready to deal with this often. I keep a cage ready all the time
     
  8. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    Oh dear.
    FYI I was saying "x2" to the second half of @rebrascora's post (I should of been more specific, my bad.)

    Now that you say your silkie isn't tame, it makes much more sense that you would incubate the eggs yourself. But if you didn't want to go through the incubation process, time, hatching, cleaning, you can let her hatch them then remove the chicks to a brooder.

    Please don't let a few answers keep you from asking for help. Keep in mind, though, that everyone's is full of their own opinions (myself certainly included :lol: ) and you may not like or appreciate everyone's answers. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  9. romien

    romien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    heatherlaw and silkiecuddles, your responses didn't offend me, it was rebrascora and lazy gardener that threw me through the door. Quite harsh for not knowing all the details, IMHO.
    But thank you two for the advice. I really appreciate it. The hen and rooster are my first silkies and I got them in April this year. They were never handled and were free. I love them very much, but I do want some silkie cuddles!! [​IMG]
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I'm sorry if I caused offense. Never intend to do so. But, did not have the info about Mama being on the wild side. And, please don't let disagreeable posts keep you from posting in the future. Just realize that everybody responds from their own experience, and it's hard for me to sift through all of the details, and give thoughtful responses without all of the details. I wish you the best with your incubation. And, perhaps broody hen may come around to being a friendly gal when you break her, and show her your bag of treats! ? asked about size of set up b/c many newbies start out with a tiny little doll house coop, and cram it full of chickens.
     

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