We are trying to raise our own Buff Orpington chickens for meat. We chose this breed because Buff Orpingtons are supposed to go broody, and we wanted mama hens to raise their own baby chicks. We ordered 50 day-old chicks from Stromberg's hatchery back in September. We have harvested most of the roosters, and we are now down to 3 roosters and 29 hens. They are now 5 months and 1 week old. We are getting about 8 eggs per day from our hens.
MY QUESTION IS: shouldn't my hens be broody by now? They are laying eggs, but none of them are setting on them. Are they too young, and do I just need to be more patient? If so, how much longer before you think I'll get some of the hens to go broody? Or, because I bought them from a big hatchery, has the broody characteristic been bred out of them? The whole reason we went with Buff Orpingtons was because they were supposed to go broody. If this doesn't pan out, then we will likely start over with a new approach with a new breed. Any input is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Ted.