can a rhode island hen become broody???


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 10, 2011
just wondering if a Rhode island can become broody... I know its not normal... but can a rir be broody and hatch chics???
Yes, pretty much any breed can, just some breeds it is unusual. (Not unusual for a Rhode Island Red though).
Big question is are they heritage RIR or production reds. If you got her from a hatchery then most likely they are production. The difference is that the heritage birds, very rare, are a true dual purpose breed. They will lay lg-xl eggs, but not as often as the production birds. Production reds are one of the most prolific layers you will find, and to get that level of laying (spring/fall 6-7 eggs, summer 5-6 eggs per week) the broodiness gets bred out. It is still possible, but very unlikely.

Always assume that RIR are production reds unless you are told they are Heritage Rhode Island Reds. If you like the breed, find someone to get some eggs or chicks from... They are very rare, but are still great birds. Keep your production reds for laying, enjoy extra roosters for their table manners, and enjoy breeding the Heritage birds. There is a Heritage RIR page on BYC under Breeds, Genetics, and Showing. Check out the difference. More subtle in the hens, but obvious in the roos.

BTW, I started with production reds from a hatchery and loved them. Great personality and prolific layers. All I read about them was actually about the Heritage Reds, so I was a bit disappointed when I realized they werent likely to go broody. I wanted 1 breed that would be dual purpose and self-sustaining as possible. Not quite what I wanted, but great birds nonetheless.

Good luck.

My RIR has been broody since june, she hatched some eggs and got off the nest for a couple weeks and went right back to the nest and is still on it today.
I don't know if TSC gets chicks from different hatcheries according to region. But the TSC I work at in Mississippi, gets chicks in boxes that are marked on the box with breeds those boxes contain. When we get Production Reds, that's what it states on the box. When we get RIR's, THAT is marked on the box. I know that hatcheries probably "mass breed" as opposed to selective breeding. But my 2 RIR pullets are darker and are deeply colored (mahogany almost) and has the black lacing around the hackles. My Production Red is a much lighter color without black except for at her tail. I sure hope one of the RIR's goes broody!
When I ordered my chicks last year from My Pet Chicken they were all listed as RIR. I noticed that they now actually list a limited supply of Heritage RIR, in addition to their usual RIR. Remember, the difference is in whether they are Heritage are not. Its "we the people" so to speak that labeled hatchery based RIR as production reds to distinguish between them. Heritage are not bred specifically as laying machines, you may only get 3 eggs a week, but you will also get a better meat bird, and one that is likely to go broody and raise chicks.

A lot of our grandparents grew up in a time where you would order a box full of chicks... they were Dominiques (dominekkers), Rhode Island Reds, and a few other breeds that were very common. Most of the barred pattern birds were always called Dominekkers, whether they were or whether they were really Barred Rocks. Take a look at CL today. In my area its comical to me as a new poultry keeper to see how often Dominekkers and Barred Rocks are confused. If you breed Barred rocks you might be a little offended at them being called dominekkers and vice versa.

Remember, I own production reds. I call them production reds because they were purchased from a hatchery and not listed as the very rare Heritage RIR. I wish I knew the difference before I bought them. I liked the idea of having a rare heritage bird. My PR were great birds.

Is a Suzuki Samurai a Jeep?
Are all semi auto pistols Glocks?

Absolutely not.

My Rhode Island red has been broody since Jan. 15th, of 2013.....she hatched out 13 chics and is setting on 18 more now...(You see, we take the chics and put them in a brooder when they hatch out).....One broody hen out of 14, What a wonderful luck we have....
My rir had gone broody on me twice Now in less than two months I have broken her of it once and am now having to do it again. It's a little annoying, she is my only layer right now, and I have 5 2 month old babies which I purchased. I like that she Will be a good mommy one day, but for Now it's a problem.

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