Could a silkie hen hatch some jap quail eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by magicpigeon, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    I heard from one of the workers at my feed store the "broody" trait is taught to chicks if they are raised by the mother... as opposed to an incubated hatch where chicks will not have the mother to show them to eat, etc. Using this logic for one, if I hatched (eg) leghorn chicks under a silkie hen woudl the offpsring be more likely to go broody and be good parents? In the same vein would that also be possible with quails? [​IMG] I'm waiting for some eggs from my newest trio to test the theory.... [​IMG]
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    This is an interesting theory but contrary to what I've always believed which is that broodiness is in the genes rather than a learned behavior. Broodiness is controlled by hormones. Its not like a chicken sits around thinking that their biological clock is ticking and its time to start a family - rather it is that hormones telling them to brood, kick in and cause them to feel compelled to sit on eggs for awhile. Broodiness is "bred out" of certain breeds so that commercial egg layers can maximize their egg production. Sometimes nature trumps this breeding and a non-broody breed will go broody anyway.

    I do think a chick that is hen-raised knows better how to parent than one that is not. But I'm a little skeptical that a hen-raised chick is more likely to go broody herself.

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