Difference of mother instinct in Rhode Island Red Hens.

Guinea and Chicken raiser

8 Years
Jan 5, 2012
Northern Louisana
We got two Rhode Island Hens. One is now 2 years old and the other is under a year. The younger is redder than any Rhode Island Red. I used to have 6-8 Rhode Island hens at a time.

Well what happened, was The 2 year old Hen made a nest of like 10 eggs and decided to finally sit on it. The nest wasn't in a safe enough spot so we (my husband and I) decided to move the eggs together.

I then tried to put the same hen that was once so broody on the nest in the house, in a corner, on a blanket that was on the cooler (some chickens arleady tried laying eggs there but leave them) and the 2 year old girl wouldn't stay on the nest. I waited like 30min to an hour and almost another thirty min till I tried grabbing red hen from her free-ranging. I sat her on the nest where her feet brushed against the eggs, by this time there were 13 eggs all brown, which I knew three were from the older hen (bigger and lighter brown color) and the rest were the younger hens.

Well Red Hen (her name, of the younger Rhode Island Red) decided to go broody on that nest. She sat there for a few days and then somehow the 3 big eggs disappeared without a trace, but she kept laying. I counted 7 eggs. All small and a darker brown than the older hen who is very brown, I named her Brownie girl, when I had other brown hens, they shared the same name. But only one survived animal attacks. Lately, this year, all that stopped... I been keeping up watching them better and protecting them with a fine fence meant for rabbits instead of Chickens.

So I wonder why did Brownie Girl not stay on her nest? And what's with the Rhode Island Red instinct on that? I just wanted to get this out there, to share information. And I welcome comments back.

Now, Red Hen has 6 healthy babies.. 1 didn't make it out like the others, momma let it get cold, because it was the last one to hatch. I wish I could get foto, but I have no way to do so. They were very yellow at first, but some baby feathers on most of the babies backs were red like momma. Now they are growing fast and have all their wing feathers and in their wing feathers is a lot of Black. The daddy looks mostly Light Brahma (silver and black, almost Wyandotte, not fully.) The father bird has a silver triangle like I seen in the bantam version of a dark brahma, but the chest of a Silver Wyandotte. He's all silver and black. I wonder what what they babies will look like as adults. I believe we have 4 males and 2 females but it could be 3 females and 3 males... Now 3 have "bumpies" on their head by their beak where the adults have their crowns. 3 still have nothing there but an indent. one looks between the two looks even. Prob a male with short crown or a female with a big crown, like some birds get.
1st off ,congrats on getting any red to sit the duration.none of mine ever would. mine are dark red with high crowns and they lay and maybe sit a day or two but thats about it. they are why i bought the bator.
Congrats on your new babies!
We have been very lucky. We have 8 RRI, and only one likes to go Broody. And what a wonderful Mother she is...very attentive and caring. After the babies are about 2 months old she will go back to laying for about a week, then she is right back laying on the eggs again. I've heard this is very rare for RRIs...
hmm... thanks for the second congrats. The babies are like 3-4 weeks old now... they were hatched right before hannukah of 2011. like about dec 15-dec 17th (is when momma started sitting. The nest was like 10 eggs before any bird sat on them and yet there is six healthy babies now. they hatched like two a day it seemed like. yeah, once she sat she sat the duration. and she's under a year old.

Momma hasn't made any new eggs. I've been wondering when she will start making more. I tried to get other hens to lay on their eggs after the chicks hatched, but they won't. I even tried to get the RIR mama bird to lay on a green egg for the green-egg layer who is Brownie Mix, she's like an easter egger/welsummer mix... I should get pics soon... of a few of my chickens. Babies are growing fast. Almost all their body feathers now.

Thanks you two for replying to my thread.
Oh, I love the silkie pic I see above my recent posts today... I never had any yet, but I want silkies sooo bad... They only come in Bantam version, smaller than average, hugh? but I plan to get bantams of other versions too and silkie for sure.
gr8, congrats on you having your new silkie chicks... I want silkies too... hopefully I will get some soon too ;) good luck raising em 'n keeping 'em safe from predators.. I will build a very safe place for them to sleep of mine... I just have one of my free range hens die, it disappeared. And I wanted to post a pic of her on here... She's been gone all night last night and didn't show up in the morning. I hope she'll come back, she's all black with a yellow chest. Name was Lahgkeisha. I think I can order more that looked like her though, but it's sad to have to lose her so soon ;) I feel she may show up tonight or in a week...
I thought you used to be able to order chickens off this site: backyardchickens.com... now I'm logged on forum, I can't find, but I thought there used to be... did you get your silkies from here? I joined this thinking I would actually order chickens and talk about them here and post those pics.. but I have chickens I didn't order from nowhere, just bought locally, but I plan on ordering more to raise my flock to 3-4 dozens. 3-4 roosters at a time. there's breeds I want that local stores dont have like the silkie, and the russian orloff, and the icelandic, and the dutch...
I have only ever owned one rhode Island red and she went broody and successfully hatched and raised one chick, unfortunately the others that hatched were smothered by her
she sat the duration fine, was given to me by someone that needed broody hens to hatch out some chicks! I gave her two silkie sussex crosses that were always going broody in exchange for her as I'd rather the eggs and yet she went broody... I also had a quail go broody and hatch out some eggs and heard it was rare for them too... must be something in the water!

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