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Purely ornamental features?? - Page 2

post #11 of 13

I kind of like broody hens. No knobs or dials, extension cords, etc. But it is an instinct thing, most breeds have had instincts bred completely out of them. I can see where one would think that broodiness was a disadvantage, if they had only dealt with birds that went broody without the proper instincts to be a GOOD broody. Don't get me wrong, egg production is not to be found in broody type breeds. But the beauty of chickens, with the advent of wire and using our opposable thumbs, we are not doomed to choose only one breed.

 

Most visible traits that have been selected for are purely for fancy, and are detrimental to the birds overall survival, but with our help, they do fine. Other traits are evolutionary outcrops left over from when chickens were dinosaurs. Like the rhino horn that pops up on Shamo from time to time.

NPIP Certified Oriental Games and Asil
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post #12 of 13

I agree with RR. Imagine those huge commercial laying houses....now imagine even a tenth of those birds going broody and not laying. That would be a huge loss financially for the company. They've actively bred against it for many generations. 

 

The hatcheries don't select for broodiness, either. Most of their customers want egg production, so that's what they select for. Plus, they're business folks in the business of selling baby chicks. Selling broody hens could work themselves out of business, never a sound plan ;)

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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post #13 of 13

Yes, and that is why you can't find a decent broody hen that is related to hatchery or commercial stock. I agree that it is not a good trait to select for in production egg layers, but broody hens are and always have been valuable. The Egyptian incubator models are cute, but people in more northern climates have relied on broody hens to raise their chicks for as long as there have been chickens in those areas. You don't have to leave that hen's eggs under her, you can have more than one breeding program going at the same time, by using broody hens to hatch surrogate chicks.They are more than just an incubator, they are a brooder, too. Often, the broodies will lay in the winter when the "production" breeds tank, making them excellent for seamless egg production and sustainable poultry production for home use.

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