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Better Broody Hen?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by m.kitchengirl, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Cochin

    1 vote(s)
  2. Silkie

    2 vote(s)
  3. Both of the above.

    0 vote(s)
  1. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    I raise chickens and ducks, and I want to add 2 good broody hens to my flock to hatch my duck eggs, and any new egg layers that I may want. (As I get more into chickens & ducks I want great strains & it seems hatching eggs are a great way to add stock from reputable breeders who don't ship chicks...)

    What would be the better broody for my purposes? Silkies or Cochins, or one of each (and why)?
    Thanks in advance, and please make sure your candidate would approve your message before posting. No Super-Pac attack ads, please.

  2. I picked Cochin, simply because I like cochins better than silkies. They both have equal reliability (80%), so it's up to you.
    These are approximations of how reliable each breed is....
    -Red Junglefowl = 98-100%
    -Bekisars and Bengals= 95-100%
    -Boxwoods = 90-95%
    -American Gamefowl = 90-95%
    -Orientals = 90%
    -Longtails (except Yokohama) = 90%
    -Bow Lake, and most Barnyard fowl = 90%
    -Pekins = 85%
    -Cochins = 80%
    -Silkies = 80%
    -Yokohamas = 75%
    -Orpingtons = 70%
    -Dorkings = 70%
    -Ardenners = 70%
    -Wyandottes = 65%
    -Australorps = 60%
    -Plymouth Rocks = 55-60%
    -Egg-production breeds = Unreliable.

    I've heard Polands are good broodies, but I don't know where they'd fit on the list.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    That's a very nice chart, but it's forgetting a couple really, really broody breeds at least to my experience. However, the OP doesn't have easy access to them so it's no worth asking about. And I think they're not on the list because of their rarity and variance per country.

    As for Silkies vs Cochins they're honestly about equal, it all depends on the strain. I say go with what you personally like best.
  4. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    I guess my biggest consideration is if one breed can fit more eggs under her than the other.
    I would love to expand to rare breeds, but without a broody hen to hatch those, Illia, I am trying (for now) to get the best & most easily accessible breeds I can.
  5. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Songster

    Feb 24, 2010
    My vet uses large fowl Cochins to hatch his peafowl. You can fit many more eggs under one of those than a Bantam Cochin or Silkie.
    Both breeds tend to be calm. I like Cochins better than silkies which is why I raise and show them. The only problem with broody hens is that they aren't always setting. That is why I bought a genesis hovabator to hatch out eggs. It is digitally preset to the right temp and with a turner so I don't do anything for 18 days then unplug the turner. I think it is cheaper and easier in the long run to have an incubator than to plan to use broodies only.
  6. That was a good point, too. Silkie hens are scrawnier than pekin hens, so obviously a few more chicks can be shoved under the cochin. However, I don't agree with your about an incubator being better than a brody, but that's a difference of opinions, and I won't get into all that here as it's off topic.

    What I suggest the OP to do, is, since individuals can always vary, is get a hen from both breeds, and test them both, and see which one they prefer.
  7. Spangled

    Spangled Songster

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    Banny! Where did you find this list? Or did you devise it yourself? The Boxwoods are only 90-95% reliable? Where did you find that statistic? Did you get it from Harvey? The Boxwoods are heavily OEG, which I don't see on your list.

    What does "reliable" mean? That they will go broody once a season? Twice a season? Or does reliability mean persistently broody -- as in all spring, summer, and into fall -- so that you know that you'll always have a broody if you need one? Or is the reliability based on going broody, staying broody once moved, then hatching with a rate of 80%? (or whatever) and then sticking with the chicks until at least 8 weeks? What is this thing you call "reliability?" [​IMG] Feel free to start a new thread or point me to a thread that is already discussing this list you have presented. Please. I find it very interesting.

    And to the OP, I wouldn't want to be ignoring you or hijacking your thread ... I only have a Cochin banty (aka in some circles as a Pekin). She's a little doll. She does go broody at least once in the summer, but I'd never use her as a broody because who knows when she'll go broody and I've got other broodies that I can count on being broody whenever I need them (so far). Never tried a Silkie either. I didn't vote since I'm obviously not qualified w/o a knowledge of brooding with Cochins or Silkies. Hey, but I can offer some advice ... get more than 2 broodies. :)

  8. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    Quote: Hijack away, those are interesting questions. How does one define reliability?
    I am also curious, what breeds do you keep that are broody "on demand"?

    I am not looking to hatch too often, and don't much like the fuss of incubating with a 'bator. I am too much of a Nervous Nelly for all that.
    Thank you all for our opinions, it is nice to hear a lot of opinions and I am always open to learning more. I appreciate all perspectives I find here on BYC. [​IMG]
  9. Spangled

    Spangled Songster

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    I like Black Copper Marans and Kraienkoppes. That's what I ended up with ... Kraienkoppes by choice and Black Copper Marans by accident (just wanted dark eggs). Both do well at brooding for me. I'd guess that 1 out of 3 Marans is broody from late May - August and 2 out of 3 Kraienkoppes is broody February/March - September tapering off into October. I have had a Black Copper Marans broody in November. I don't use supplemental light. With supplemental lighting, I think it would stretch the broody period.

    But I'm not trying to turn your head. Cochin and/or Silkies will most likely do the trick for you. Just a heads up, though, you may want to order at least one or two more than you think you may need because of Murphy's law. You could get that one Cochin/Silkie out of ten that doesn't ever go broody or that is heavy footed.

    Have you seen Ussery's article online? He's got the Boxwood broody mentioned above. It's actually just the name he calls the hens of various lineages that go broody on his little acreage. Cute name, but not a breed so to speak, if that matters.

    Now, if we could just get Banny to write a follow up to his post! [​IMG]

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