BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT. - Page 899
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People use silkies as a benchmark for broodiness. In my experience they fall far short. They are too small to cover enough large eggs. Their feathers don't allow them to handle the weather all that great. They have no predator resistance whatsoever. Can't catch rodents and small snakes and bash them against rocks to feed their chicks. They can barely see well enough to find the feed trough, let alone count all of their chicks. If you get the hatchery ones, there is no guarantee they will even go broody.
The thing I always hated about silkies is the fact that they don't ever want to fly up on a roost. I don't really care if a silkie wants to get plastered with poop from roosting under the roost. But when her roosting age chicks are getting plastered with poop because their mama calls them down off the roost every time they try to be a sensible chicken, that is just unacceptable.
My broody White Rock finally took to the nesting box (and fake egg) I made up for her in the isolation pen, so I placed 3 Bielefelder eggs, 1 NN egg and 1 White Rock egg under her. I was originally only going to give her Biel eggs to sit on since I seem to have problems hatching them in the incubator, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to put one of my favorite NN hen's eggs under her, along with a possibly NN fertilized White Rock egg. She pecked at me at first, but once she realized I was GIVING her eggs, not taking them away, she calmed tremendously and went into her zone...pupils dilated, head low and body flattened out. So....21 days to wait and see what happens, more or less.
I have a bunch of feral broody hens that keep turning up. (A phenomenon common to possessors of true broody stock.) They have a nest on top of a dog pen. I keep leaving the eggs there for bait. I let them get good and broody and catch them off of there at night. I have several clutches set now in individual pens. I'm thinking of giving one some turkey eggs. That should be entertaining.