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Broody Breeds

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

My wife bought me a book entitled "Poultry Breeds" by author Carol Ekarius. I've been perusing the various breeds of chickens and trying to decide what breed(s) to buy for my new coop I'm going to build over the winter.

My question is about Broody breeds. Do I want to choose a chicken breed that makes a good mother or not? It seems like mankind has tried to breed broodiness out of chickens. Why? Wouldn't it be easier to let nature do the hatching and raising instead of going the incubator route?

Thanks

post #2 of 28

You could always get a couple of banty hens to do your hatching for you.. and skip the incubator.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain.
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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain.
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post #3 of 28

I think nature does take its course no matter what you try to do. I currently have a broody Sex Link, which I was under the impression were bred to be egg laying machines, not mothers. So chickens tend to do whatever they want lol.

I have noticed that a lot of people on here usually have a couple of the more broody breeds (like Silkies and Game hens) to help them with hatching and then have their laying flock. Some just choose the breed they love, like Australorp and then if none of the hens go broody, they just incubate their eggs. Lots of people love to watch a momma hen with her chicks. Some have chickens just to sell hatching eggs or chicks and its easier to use an incubator to hatch larger quantities.

I have a coop with a mix of 15 Bantams and I am really hoping they don't all feel the need to go broody on me at the same time or very often. Mostly due to the fact that I don't have a rooster to get fertilized eggs with. Nor do I want that many chicks lol.

~Deborah~
I am a SAHM with 3 kids (DD-22, DS-21, DS-14) & an awesome DH of 25 yrs
We have 1 LF layer flock...a misc group w/ a Blue Wheaten Amer roo over Amer/EE/OE and some misc hens, a mixed group of designer bantams, a quad of Swedish Flower hens, 9 A&B Seramas, a trio of bantam Chocolate Orps, a trio of Barred NN bantams, a trio of Silkies/Showgirls, 5 Blue Bibbed/Magpie Call Ducks, a quad of...

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~Deborah~
I am a SAHM with 3 kids (DD-22, DS-21, DS-14) & an awesome DH of 25 yrs
We have 1 LF layer flock...a misc group w/ a Blue Wheaten Amer roo over Amer/EE/OE and some misc hens, a mixed group of designer bantams, a quad of Swedish Flower hens, 9 A&B Seramas, a trio of bantam Chocolate Orps, a trio of Barred NN bantams, a trio of Silkies/Showgirls, 5 Blue Bibbed/Magpie Call Ducks, a quad of...

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post #4 of 28

It depends on what you want. If your hens are mostly for eggs, you don't want them to be too broody. If they go broody frequently, they won't lay many eggs. We have a mixed flock including a few silkies. When I have eggs I want to hatch, I put them under a silkie hen (with several silkies someone is always broody). That works well for us. Two of our silkies incubated and brooded and raised a clutch of runner ducks cooperatively. It is really funny when the babies grow so much bigger than the mamas. So....decide why you want chickens and then choose your breed. Of course, you can use and incubator to hatch your eggs, but a broody is so much easier.  Have fun!

post #5 of 28

gidday: got to admit that having broodies is more fun than non-broody birds

The last breed I kept were dark cornish and 4/10 would go broody in a year (the last bunch of chicks discovered at Halloween a few yeas ago)

I'd say the ratio was the same for light Brahmas and silver laced wyandottes had years before

Had Black Rosecomb bantams and 4/5 hens went broody

have fun

Seek the truth in all things.  Follow the path of two swords as one.  Perceive that which cannot be seen (read between the lines).  Do not engage in useless activity.

Miyamoto Musashi  (Japan's greatest swordsmen), the Book of Five Rings
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Seek the truth in all things.  Follow the path of two swords as one.  Perceive that which cannot be seen (read between the lines).  Do not engage in useless activity.

Miyamoto Musashi  (Japan's greatest swordsmen), the Book of Five Rings
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post #6 of 28

.....................


Edited by SussexInSeattle - 11/10/08 at 12:28am
Bantam Buff Cochin, RIR, Barred Rock, White Leghorn, 2 Birchen Marans, 2 RIR X Silver Sebrights, 2 Barn Cats, 2 Doberman Pinschers, 1 Min Pin.
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Bantam Buff Cochin, RIR, Barred Rock, White Leghorn, 2 Birchen Marans, 2 RIR X Silver Sebrights, 2 Barn Cats, 2 Doberman Pinschers, 1 Min Pin.
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post #7 of 28

I think it's sad and wrong when we penalize chickens for being what nature intended chickens to be.  SussexInSeattle that broody hen you eliminated from your program was one who probably would have given her life to protect her chicks, it was not her fault that you placed her in an artificial environment where that was not needed.

Fowlafoot Poultry Conservation Farm
APA, AGFS, ALBC, SPPA Member
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Fowlafoot Poultry Conservation Farm
APA, AGFS, ALBC, SPPA Member
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post #8 of 28

As a chicken owner you need to understand and provide for the needs of a broody hen if you have one.  Hens use the length of sunlight to determine when to lay and when to brood.  If you want them to brood out of season you need to use a lighting program to make them think there are roughly 17 hours of sunlight a day.  You also need to let them collect eggs in their nest, these can be nonfertile and you can switch in the fertizized ones after broodiness has been established if your using a foster broody. Once eggs have been collected a good broody breed whose had plenty of light will set on the eggs.  One broodiness is established the hen will move as little as possible and remain quiet often appearing to be "glaring".   This is a stressful time for a hen, she knows instinctively that she is in great danger on the ground and is doing her best to avoid being eaten.  They will usually get up once a day to eat drink and take care of business.  The last thing they want or need are visitors so expect that you or another hen will get a less than welcoming reception.  She does not want new eggs laid on her nest because by two days after hatch she will get up and begin taking chicks to food and water.  Any eggs left on the nest at this point should be removed since she will keep sitting on chicks there but will not be on the nest enough to successfully hatch any late laid eggs and the bacteria in the rotting eggs isn't good for anyone.  A good broody knows what she is doing and needs little to no human intervention beyond a secure nest box, fresh water and food.  The best time to check the nest is when she is out eating and drinking.


Edited by fowlafoot - 11/2/08 at 5:04am
Fowlafoot Poultry Conservation Farm
APA, AGFS, ALBC, SPPA Member
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Fowlafoot Poultry Conservation Farm
APA, AGFS, ALBC, SPPA Member
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post #9 of 28

A hen that gets nasty when she goes broody is exactly what you want!  As far a making a choice, a breed that the broodiness hasn't been bred out of it is the way to go in my opinion.  You can always incubate if you want, but you will have the option of letting them hatch their own too if you want.  If you really want some good broodies, try some game hens!

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff81/CUDALAND/002-6.jpg

It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education, than to have education without common sense.  Robert Ingersoll   
Stevens Poultry Farm
My Fathers Mission Work
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It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education, than to have education without common sense.  Robert Ingersoll   
Stevens Poultry Farm
My Fathers Mission Work
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post #10 of 28

Beautiful shot of a broody CUDA... Can't wait until next year when my little Kelso from you looks at me the same way jumpy

Fowlafoot Poultry Conservation Farm
APA, AGFS, ALBC, SPPA Member
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Fowlafoot Poultry Conservation Farm
APA, AGFS, ALBC, SPPA Member
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