Broody hen--best breeds for handling and as a pet for her to raise?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lothomson, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Hi,
    My SLW hen is brooding away and I thought that hey I want to try and raise some chickies under her. What is a a good breed for handling and to have as a pet for her to raise?? I am new to this and have heard some recommendations but I would like to hear some more opinions. Also, what are some good hatcheries/places that I could get some fertilized eggs at?

    Thanks in advance

    Lauren
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How long has she been setting? Both morning and night? Does she have eggs under her right now? I assume that you don't have a rooster? If I were you, I'd look around for some local fertile eggs, and set those under her. Personally, I'd not spend a lot of money on eggs for a first time broody, especially If i'd never dealt with a broody before. But, there's no one right way to do it. Shipped eggs have a lower hatch rate. Or you could find some day old chicks to stick under her after she's been setting on some dud eggs for a couple of weeks. Either way, be prepared to brood the hatchlings artificially. Some hens are good setters, but terrible mothers! You can go to the Learning Center for more info.
     
  3. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,
    She has been setting since 11:00 am yesterday and yes she stayed in the nesting box all day and night; she is there right now. She has one egg under her now, from my other hen. I do not have a rooster. She is a very stubborn hen and will NOT let me touch or move her. She has literally not moved an inch. I put food and water in the nesting box because she would not move to get it if it was outside of the nesting box. I've heard that SLWs are extremely good mothers and I'd like to try and raise a couple of chicks.
     
  4. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you recommend any breeds for handling/pets?
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    A lot depends on your location (climate) whether you will be keeping your flock penned, or let them out to free range, the types of eggs you like, and what appeals to you as far as looks. Then, you'll need to consider WHAT you can reasonably get at this time of year, in your area. For personality, IMO nothing beats a Dominique. They're a beautiful bird with a tight rose comb. Good winter layers. Good foragers. Have a rep of being a good broody. The only down side is that they lay a smallish egg. I find RIR to be a bit aggressive. As far as getting eggs from a hatchery, you'd be paying way more than you would for chicks. And you can't just order any kind of egg like you can chicks. Look at Henderson's chicken breeds chart to review the many breeds available, go to your state thread to see who is local who may be able to supply you with eggs. Honestly, you can't beat a barn yard mix for a dependable layer. I have Black Sex Links that are wonderful layers, bred from my own flock (pea comb, green eggs) One thing I stay away from in my flock is straight combs (prone to frost bite) and feathered feet (IMO, they are a problem in snow, ice and mud)
     
  6. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in California, so cold/hot climate is not a problem. I want a chicken that is not shy and is happy with being handled (of course this also depends on how you handle/treat them as a chick too). I've heard lots of good things about EEs and OEs but I heard that they can be unpredictable and that not all of them are cuddly and nice... I'm not sure if I want more broody hens...but maybe.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    EE can be a bit flighty, but I absolutely love their quirky personalities. My neighbor has some that chase the robins and squirrels out of their yard. A flock made up of EE and Doms would be beautiful. In your warm climate, you don't have to worry about frost bite on combs, in fact a nice big comb helps the bird to stay cooler in hot weather.
     
  8. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    I am very indecisive on this whole thing. I just wants the perfect chicks for my SLW to raise. What would you consider to be the best pet chicken? It's funny but I just want a hen to snuggle with and that is very affectionate. My SLWs are a little shy to being held and I want another hen or two that would be glad to be cuddled with.

    What do you think about:
    Silkies
    Barred rocks
    Sex-links
    Ameracaunas
    Orpingtons
    Cochins

    ??? sorry for all of the questions.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If you want snuggle, I'd choose Orpington or Silkie. I've never had either.
     
  10. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Orpington or Sussex ...
     

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