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Do you need a rooster around for a hen to go broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by firsthouse_mp, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. firsthouse_mp

    firsthouse_mp Songster

    Dec 13, 2009
    I have never (I think) had a broody hen. My hens are 3-1.5 years old and to my knowledge, I can't remember any of my hens ever sitting in their nest boxes for an extended time. I can't tell if it's because they normally run around the yard and don't stay near the coop with boxes, or whether the hens just really aren't the broody types.

    I have 2 RIRs, 1 BR, 3 EEs. We have no roosters since they are not allowed in our area. However, if I did have a hen go broody, then I would buy some fertilized eggs and get them under her! Would love to have my hens raise their own chicks instead of me doing it [​IMG]

    What are my chances of getting a broody, d'ya think?

  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    No, you don't need a rooster for a hen to go broody. You can put rocks under a hen and she'll still sit on them if she thinks that the time is right for hatching eggs. [​IMG]

    Is she growling and fluffing up when you pet her? If so, she's probably broody.
  3. firsthouse_mp

    firsthouse_mp Songster

    Dec 13, 2009
    No, none of my hens has ever growled at me. Sigh. I might have to accept that I will live forever with chicks and pullets in my home and garage! I can't recall EVER that any of my hens has even sat in the boxes for more than their laying time. Of course I go out and pull eggs twice a day since I have morning layers and afternoon layers, so there's never a chance that the eggs are sitting there for hours with hens on them.

    Too bad. It seems all so compelling to have a sweet hen sitting on her eggs and hatching them!
  4. incubatingisfun

    incubatingisfun Songster

    Dec 15, 2009
    if you want a broody you should get a silkie [​IMG]
  5. Heartlandrabbitry

    Heartlandrabbitry Songster

    Oct 27, 2010
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Tropical Chook

    Tropical Chook Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    No you don't need a rooster. It all has to do with hormonal changes, and fortunately, or unfortunately, some breeds are just not bred for broodiness. If you really must have a broody, get a silkie, or better still, get an Asian game hen. I only have Asian games (Shamo) and I think it would take a lot to beat the hens as far as going broody is concerned. Like clockwork, they lay a clutch of about 8 eggs or so, and then they go broody. I first got my birds in the hope I would get plenty of eggs, but I have since changed that to meat instead. I still get enough eggs for us to eat, but I need to keep quite a few hens in order to do so. On the other hand, if I was to allow all the eggs to hatch, we would certainly never need to buy chicken at the grocery store again. At the moment I'm getting an average of five eggs per day, but of the hens laying those, at least three or four will be broody within the next week or so.

    With that all said, yes it's nice to see a hen running around with her chicks. At first the chicks run after their mum, and then before you know it, the chicks are calling the shots, and mum spends most of her day chasing after them [​IMG]
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yours are all breeds that occasionally go broody, but if they were going to, they probably would have done so already.

    You'll just have to do some chicken math, get a few new ones and hope one goes broody. Good advice so far; games and silkies are probably the most likely. Another breed is Kraienkoppe, not one you hear of much, but Ideal has (or had) them. They look very much like a brown Leghorn. I had 3, and they all went broody and made great mamas.

    Here's some reading for you, in case you're interested, about broodies, and Henderson's chart that tells a lot about the breeds, including their likelihood of going broody:



  8. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    Get a silkiebator. They are reliable and no chicks in the house.
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    As you have already been tole, no you don't need a rooster for a hen to go broody. Your greatest chance of a broody comes from your EE.
  10. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I agree with sourland....EE's will be the ones most likely to go broody on you. I bet this next spring one of 'em will...if they're only 1.5 years old, they're probably just getting into the swing of things. I bet their bodies will tell them to hatch out for you in the spring!

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