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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LadyWoodsong, Sep 9, 2010.
Do they? I have some that are about 5-5 1/2 months old and are just starting to lay.
Sometimes they do. It's fairly uncommon, though.
We have 7 Black Sex Links (Black Stars) and out of those we have one girl that loves to go broody and another that has gone broody. The one has hatched out 3 clutches of eggs in the last 12 months and the other has hatched out one clutch. The other 5 hens have not shown any attempt at going broody in three years.
How do you tell if a hen is broody? Is there a certain age they would tend to go broody? (sorry if the questions are dumb, I am learning)
Any hen can go broody, but some breeds are less likely, & black stars are in the group that are less likely.
No question is dumb. A broody hen will tend to sit on the nest longer each day. She will lay her clutch of eggs which could be from 1 to 12 or more. She will usually begin to get defensive by growling and fluffing up when anyone or anything comes near. Once she has laid her clutch she will then start her set. At this point she will usually only leave the nest once a day to eat, drink and poop. She will have stopped laying eggs. She will set on the eggs until hatch which is generally 21 days from the point of set.
A black star's broodiness probably depends on what breeding went into making the sexlinked cross. If it was a hatchery RIR then I doubt they'll go broody, but I have two that are half Buff Orpington and both of their purebred sisters have been broody, so I assume it's possible for the mutts to decide to brood as well.
I only have 12 hens and no rooster, so I won't be hatching any eggs soon. But in the future would like to get some fertile eggs if one of my hens *do* get broody.
How long are they broody for? What if I have a hen who appears to be broody but I don't get fertile eggs to her soon enough and she stops being broody?
I've heard it's rare... Also, they don't breed true, meaning you wont get black star (sex linked) babies...
Quote:A determined broody will try to hatch anything. Golf balls, door knobs, infertile eggs, etc. So just let her sit on what you have and swap them out for fertile at night.
Some hens are determined, so they will just brood and brood and brood, to the point that it's detrimental to their health and people try to "break" them of it. Some are habitual mothers, brooding again a month or two after the last hatch. Some give up after a week or so, which is more probable when you have a less-broody breed (like a sexlink hybrid breed).
Some are good brooders for the term (21 days) but if nothing hatches out they will give up after a few more days, which is what my BO hen did after rats stole her eggs. She didn't want to try another round at it.
Broody hens are mysterious and hormonal, there really is no predicting them, especially with a first time mother.