Broody or Sicky?

For the past week, this is the scene confronting me each visit to the coop: Silkie sitting.

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Yes, I know that Silkies are notorious setters, so we had a few chuckles about Silkie and I simultaneously deciding it was time to brood our respective eggs. However, as the week has progressed, I’m getting concerned because other than sitting burning hot, she’s not showing other typical brooding behavior. For example,she’s not  at all miffed when I retrieve eggs from under her and unceremoniously remove her from the nesting box several times a day. Not even a hiss or peck or indignant fluffing of feathers in my general direction! Docile as a doll. When placed on the cool ground, she just sits there dazedly for a few minutes before wandering off.

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Sometimes I can get her to eat and drink. Other times, it’s just back to the coop. She’s not visibily missing any feathers and I’ve done a thorough search of the area for plucked feathers just in case. She also feels like she’s a healthy weight and I can’t detect any signs of an egg bound hen.

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What’s your guess: Is she broody or sick? Let’s hope for broody because she’s the best-natured broody hen I’ve ever encountered!

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7 responses to this post.

  1. It sounds like she’s broody to me. She might just be a very gentle and good natured girl. Chickens have a higher body temperature than us so they can feel very warm to the touch, but still be normal.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Christamone on May 24, 2012 at 5:33 am

    How interesting, we have a Barred Rock named May who is displaying similar behavior. She stays in the nesting boxes all day, and when I take her out she simply stays seatedwhere I place her. Shes a healthy size though…we don’t know what to make of it. Maybe shes gone broody as well, I hope thats the case and not something worse! Great posts!

    Reply

    • Thanks! I do hope she’s only broody. Has she also stopped laying? We haven’t had an egg from our girl all week.

      Reply

      • Posted by Christamone on May 25, 2012 at 7:37 pm

        I don’t really know how to find that out…we have 80 hens so I can’t tell if shes laying or not, she sticks to the same two or three boxes but its possible that a bird lays an egg before she sits in it. Do you have any suggestions for how to find out if shes laying?

      • Now that’s a flock! At any given time, I try to have under a dozen (mostly) mixed-breed chickens, which makes for easy egg identification. A flock that large is quite out of my ken. My only idea would be to place her in relative isolation, maybe a cage within the larger area and see what happens. I’ve heard a lot of mention of using wire-bottom cages to cure broodiness anyway. I’ll be following your blog, eager to hear what you decide.

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