Broody Rhode Island Reds?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by labsani, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. labsani

    labsani Hatching

    Oct 23, 2014
    I heave 2 RIR approximately 11 months old. The were raised by an excellent Isa Brown hen who mothered them for over 20 weeks and are part of a flock of 6 hens.They free range all day and coop at night. All 6 of them have always layed in the same nesting box and there are 3 available to them.

    Over the last few weeks both RIR's have been spending a lot of time on the eggs after they lay, perhaps for an hour or two each, and one of them has started using a second box for laying.

    Is this their version of going broody? When my Isa went clucky she never left the eggs at all and i actually had to push her off the unfertilised eggs to collect them until i bought her some fertilised ones. We are coming into summer in Australia and have had quite hot temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius.

    I wouldn't mind hatching some new babies. Is there something I can do to encourage them if it is what they are trying to do? Or is it not worth the risk as they are not know to be good brooders?
  2. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Crowing

    Oct 23, 2014
    Broody hens don't necessarily behave according to breed. My Rhode Island Red hens were excellent brooders, and mothering depends on the individual hen. Two of mine are excellent moms. Also, when you are referring to Rhode Island Reds, it is a common mistake for people to mistake Production Reds for RIRs, because hatcheries sell them this way, normally under the name Production Rhode Island Red. The true RIRs are the ones I have and what I am talking about. I also have Production Reds, and it is normal for them to stay on their eggs for an hour or two after laying, protecting their eggs, and acting broody during the time on their eggs. They have never stayed broody. As far as encouraging a hen to be broody, either a hen will stay on the eggs or not. It is a risk to not knowing how a hen will brood or raise the chicks. Some are excellent moms staying with their chicks until adulthood, some will leave their chicks after a few weeks, some will kill their chicks after hatching. I have had all of those types of moms. If your hen wants to hatch she will stay on the nest like your previous broody that didn't leave the nest.
  3. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Songster

    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    I would wait to make sure they will stay on the eggs before giving them any fertilized ones. My Silkie went broody about 2 weeks ago. She started by staying on the eggs for an hour or two, then she would get off for a few hours. She did that for 2 days and finally stayed put. I haven't seen her get of the nest for 2 days now. I think she gets up early in the morning before I get up to the coop. You can leave some infertile eggs to test them. I'd love to be in summer right now. It's 7 degrees Celsius where I'm at and supposed to be even colder over the next few days.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: