Can a hen still go broody if she is past laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GD91, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd have thought no, but then again I had a rabbit who would brood anything , even though she was infertile & never produced milk herself. She had a condition which prevented her milk & fertility.
    Just wondering, it would be nice to be able to keep a good mother that extra bit longer and have the reliability & experience :)
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    First, why do you think hen is past laying? Then, does she represent a breed known to become broody.
     
  3. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't, this is all in theory. I haven't actually got an old hen. :)
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have never had a hen that completely stopped laying due to advanced age. Generally, the capacity to lay at least a few eggs is retained to near the very end. Such old hens are also prone to go broody on fewer eggs. Somehow the production of eggs cocks them for the capacity to brood and somehow the loss in condition and the interaction with eggs in the nest are the triggers that set broodiness off. Getting a hen broody otherwise may still be possible based on what I have seen with roosters. Some roosters have the capacity to become broody in a since. The natural form is where rooster forms attachment to chicks produced by a hen in his harem that enables him to take over rearing once offspring become juveniles and hen commits to rearing another clutch. The second which seems unnatural is where chicks get up under rooster while he roosts at night for several nights causing him to become broody as well. No clucking but otherwise takes care of youngsters. Problem with some hens is that they are harder on chicks not theirs than a rooster is.
     
  5. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, so the chicks can trigger paternal instincts in a rooster. I have seen some threads of very paternal roo’s raising lots of chicks now I think.

    Anyway I have a pekin bantam pullet who lives indoors (for a variety of reasons) & would be highly suitable as a mother if the instincts are right as the chicks would then be raised indoors & socialised to people. She still has outdoor access .
    :)
    I want to keep a good hen specially for brooding eggs & raising chicks for many years. I just need a hen that's good at it, enjoys babies & has good sense & the right instincts.

    If I'm lucky enough I'll find one hehe
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  6. Katt66

    Katt66 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard of a "broody rooster" before but I think I have one now that I think about it lol!

    We've got 2 Sebrights that will snuggle up under the rooster's feathers and sort of stand under him all snuggled in with just their faces peeking out from under his belly feathers. Especially the gold one. They've been doing this since shortly after we bought the Sebrights back in late August, early Sept some time. I just thought it was cute that they'd bonded like that.

    Recently I've introduced 4 now six week old pullets to the existing flock of 5 hens and this rooster. And, again, he's been caught showing some awfully "broody" behavior. Just sort of standing there with all four babies gathered together under him like he's a mother hen keeping them warm. He also pushes off the other hens and sort of protects the babies. He'll step right in and block them from bullying the new pullets. Now I love my silly crossbeaked rooster even more. ^_^
     

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