A broody is better than a brooder.


Jul 1, 2020
Northeast Missouri
I hatched out a dozen shipped eggs. I also had a silkie hen. That was broody at the time they hatched. She is a small silkie and the chicks are standard sized barnevelders. So I decided to give her six of the chicks. It had been awhile since a broody raised chicks of the same hatch, that I was raising in a brooder. I had forgotten how good of a job they do. The six she raised are twice the size of the ones I had in the brooder. There is a lot to be said for them getting plenty of room to roam and a more mixed diet. Out in the sunshine.


Jun 22, 2020
New York
Some hens are really bad broodys!

But otherwise, I think it depends on the brooding practice. For my last hatch of 2 chicks I tried to raise them as best as I could in line with what a broody would do.

I gave them a little warm cave that was completely dark, instead of a light. I turned off the light at night. I let them go outside the moment they are mobile and not wobbly, I put them with the rest of the flock (with safe areas) in the run at 2 weeks when they are able to keep themselves warm enough outside in summer weather. They were verrrry quiet and content chicks.

I adopted them out at 3 weeks, but they were free ranging with the other birds without supervision in my front yard for the last week. It’s amazing how fast they can learn to be self sufficient.

They were also the calmest chicks I ever raised, even calmer than my broody chicks which I also handled extensively.

I tried to adopt this particular pair out initially at 2 weeks, but since that didn’t work out, they had to endure 4 separate car rides inside a cardboard box for over about 8 hours. They were happily chirping throughout the entire ordeal. I’ve brought many chicks home over the past year and trust me, I know when a chick is even vaguely distressed 🤣

I think having other older chickens to learn from definitely also helped their development.

In the end I had happy healthy chicks that were very tolerant of being handled :)
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