Two Silkie Moms March 14, 2012

two silkie moms

Two Silkie hens are mothers to the same chicks

Silkie hens want to be moms. That’s just about it for Silkie hens. They live for it. If they aren’t raising chicks, they are brooding eggs or thinking about raising chicks or brooding eggs. I have the feeling that they talk about it amongst themselves when we’re not around. So when my little White Silkie ‘Cloud’ went broody, it was of no surprise to me. Same when my second Silkie hen ‘Snow’ went broody about a week later. It was, however, a bit unusual that they decided to sit on the same clutch of eggs.

It was rather amusing to watch two little white hens sitting in the same nest box day after day. They would take turns going out to get something to eat or drink, which is a luxury most broody hens don’t enjoy. So when it became apparent that the eggs they were sitting on were probably not fertile and were never going to hatch, I just couldn’t bring myself to break their little hearts. So I got three little chicks from a neighbor and in the dead of night placed the chicks under the hens and snatched their eggs.

You could hear the excitement in their voices and see it in their actions as the two silkie moms discovered the chicks, and took to the task of raising the three little ones. In their zeal to be moms they overlooked the fact that the chicks were already a couple of weeks old and didn’t even remotely look like Silkies (one being an Easter Egger and the other two Barred Plymouth Rocks). The chicks were delighted to have not just one mom but two!

They go about the job of raising chicks as though they were only one hen, both teaching the chicks where to find food and water, the joy of finding a fat bug and calling to them when they wander a bit too far away. The chicks snuggle under both hens to keep warm and there is absolutely no conflict amongst them. Cloud and Snow are happier than they ever have been and the chicks love their adopted moms, both of them.

22 Comments
LindaG March 14th, 2012

I’ve read before that silkies make great moms for hatching all sorts of poultry. But especially other chicks.
Thanks for the cute story!

Vivian March 15th, 2012

This is so cute. I had two silkies hatch eggs together, not their own eggs, some others that I slipped in. It was one big happy family! Humans should be like this.

Mandi Miller March 15th, 2012

I have to say, that is one of the sweetest things that I have read in a long time. I don’t think that there is anything that can amaze me as much as the love that a mother has 🙂 Thank you for sharing and Blessings!

Sandy March 15th, 2012

What a wonderful story!! That’s awesome that they both are caring for the baby chicks together. We have two white silkies maybe someday………..

Chris March 15th, 2012

Silkies have the sweetest dispositions. Our two, Blanche and Dorothy think they are lap chickens! They get along so well with our other mixed flock & love helping to raise the new babies. I loved your story.

Emily March 15th, 2012

Aaaw, my aunts silkie and showgirl hen did this a few months back. Happy little moms with the same 6 babies (none of which were actually their eggs). Silkies are so sweet 🙂

lisa brawner March 15th, 2012

This is just so sweet !!!!!!!!

Brian Grafton March 15th, 2012

I had a silky that was very broody and didn’t have fertile chicken eggs at the time.
But I had turkey eggs!! she didn’t care and was a happy camper.
She hatched three turkey poults. Now that was a site

Shelly Petersen March 15th, 2012

I could not find one of my rose comb black bantam that was sharing two chicks with a Rhode Island Red cross. When I called for her, her head popped out from under the backside of the red hen Sassy. I guess the chicks were under the rosier and Sassy just decided she would sit on top of her. It had to be warm.

Elke April 3rd, 2012

I also have a “tag team” of two silkies–one white and one black. They hatch and raise chicks belonging to other hens, sharing sitting and babysitting duties. They are beyond sweet!

Nicolle Deaves April 10th, 2012

I have an old black silkie hen I was given 2 years ago. I am not sure how old she is, but she has never laid an egg, or gone broody in that time ever. I always thought of her as a grumpy old woman as she always fought with all my other bantams and remained top chicken, but never seemed nice or actually did anything. Just recently she suprised me and went broody for the first time since I’ve had her, so I thought I’d make some use of her and bought some fertile eggs for her to sit on. She sat so diligently on those eggs that she had snail trails across her back! Now we have 6 beautiful little 2 week old chicks and she is such a good Mum and has this new lease on life that I now see her in a whole new light, I won’t think of her as the grumpy old woman anymore!

les April 11th, 2012

What a great story!

codi lane April 13th, 2012

My silkies are sitting on the same nest right now 2!!!!!!!!!!! i think these eggs are fertile and i hope to have a bunch of new babies soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shana April 13th, 2012

I only have the one Silkie hen for now (another in the brooder). She went broody and I put 3 Phoenix eggs under her. My son collected the eggs and broke 2 of them, so I put 3 more under. Not only did she hatch out the first baby, she kept sitting for another 2 weeks to hatch the others!

Sandra Trussell May 31st, 2012

I came across your blog while searching for an answer to my closely related story, but my story just developed a problem. Two weeks ago my two silky hens co-hatched and are raising one chick (not their own). The chick is almost two weeks old and everything was going great, like in your stories. However, today the two hens started fighting. I mean, really going at it. I separated them for a few minutes, but as it was getting dusk and the one mama and baby returned to the nesting box, I felt so badly for the outcast mama that I let her go back to the nest. At first she picked on the other hen and I had to remove her from the nesting box twice. The third time, as darkness approached, they finally settled. My question is, what happens tomorrow? Has anyone had anything like this occur with co-mothering hens? Thanks, Sandra in FL

les June 4th, 2012

I find that at some point the hens decide they no longer want to share the chicks and usually the more dominant hen will drive the other off. There can often be what looks to us like a deathly battle for the right to raise the chicks. It usually lasts a couple days, no one gets seriously hurt and they go about their business as usual with one hen taking on the duties of raising the chicks.

Nan Mader February 12th, 2013

Hi I have a small flock of silkies and yes they are broody. Two of them were broody and since I finally decided the one who should have been a Roo was indeed a hen And my eggs were not fertile, I gave in and ordered them a few fertile eggs from MPC. Now three more are broody in another nest. I have one Silkie living in my house after a hawk attack. She is laying an egg a day. So I have three Silkies acting like normal chickens, laying eggs, going out in the run scratching and digging. And my question is, the two brooding on eggs have been on the nest for a total of two months so far with three weeks to hatching time. The three others have been broody for between one and four weeks, should I just let them get over it? Is there any danger allowing them to brood away? They are so cute, but I don’t want to leave them alone if it is not the correct choice. Thanks,

les February 12th, 2013

There is no danger in letting them brood. Mine tend to stay broody for a month or so, then take a break from it for awhile and go back to being broody again for awhile. It doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on them, I just don’t get many eggs from them.

Hailey June 26th, 2013

Awwww so sweet

Sherry June 26th, 2013

I have 3 silkie hens. Wonderful mothers to 11 baby chicks. When they were setting they would steal eggs from each other. It’s so cute how they roll the eggs underneath with their neck. Now the chicks are 2 months old and when free ranging all the hens take care of all of them. The sweetest thing is the rooster, Kunta. He takes just as much a part. He will find a bug and call them and they come running. When I give treats he will not eat until all the babies and hens are finished. He is constantly keeping everyone together not an easy task with 11 chicks on this acreage! I am so blessed to have silkies. They are so docile and sweet and the best parents! Would love to post video but don’t know how?

Shana June 26th, 2013

I have a black Silkie, Olive, that was born in November. She was only 4 months old when I got her, but raised 4 chicks that I put in with her. She was so good to them, gathering them under her wings to keep them warm. I call her Mama Olive! I can’t wait until I can get fertile eggs to put under her. She hasn’t started to lay yet, but I’m sure she’ll be broody as heck when she does.

Susie M June 26th, 2013

I started with 6 white silkies last year, and was sure that Elvis and Mr Gobblekins were going to be Roos….. until they laid eggs. I also started with 4 (not sure what they are, maybe ‘leghorns’?) white with red combs and red wattles. They were going ‘cheap’ at the local TSC, for just a buck apiece. Now I’m down to 2 silkies and 3 leghorns due to preditors. One of my silkies, ‘Honk’ (she honks like a goose except when broody) has been broody for nearly 2 months. I keep thinking about doing the sneaky chick exchange in the middle of the night – she will even sit on stones if I have taken all the other hens eggs. I keep lifting her off and putting her near food and water. She chuck chuck chuck chuck chucks and puffs up like a big fluff ball, but never hisses or tries to peck at me like I’ve heard about other broody hens. If I were ever to get a Roo, it would be a Silkie.

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