Hi all. I've read over Henderson's breed chart many times, but I have often wondered about how broodiness is rated. If Marans in general are considered to have decent broodiness, averaged out, how many Cuckoo Marans, or other Marans, would I need to be confidant in being able to get at least 2-3 clutches raised a year? I found myself with 11 RIR (hatchery) pullets, and as I have been told I would be lucky to get 1/11 to go broody in the next 3 years. Ok, not the kind of odds I was looking for. Want I really want is a, relatively speaking, self sufficient flock. I want chicks raised by good hens, and I am not concerned as much with purebred chickens. I have been told that Marans tend to add to meat quality when crossed with other breeds. does this also work with broodiness? I have excellent layers now, although still a little small for RIR, but theyre only 8 months old. If crossing diminishes egg laying a little, not major. I can always keep a few separated just for laying, or keep a few just for mothers. I ask specifically about the Cuckoos because I have been watching CL, and someone has some that are 5 months for 12 bucks. I was leaning more toward BCs, but have only found hatching eggs. Ideally, I want a breed that will enhance the meat characteristics AND add broodiness. I've seen plenty of silkies and bantam cochins, but crossing 2 breeds seems less drastic than letting 3-4 breeds go at it, especially bantams. My top roo is mixed with black tail buff maran, so that would be a great way to go if I could find some. The hens would also look very similar to my current flock, so I wouldn't end up with a strange looking pattern. Just out of curiosity, what would a RIR rooster over a Cuckoo hen look like? What about a black tail buff over a cuckoo hen?