Getting a Broody?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Maugwa, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Maugwa

    Maugwa Songster

    96
    260
    126
    Jul 1, 2018
    Goshen County, Wyoming
    Hi all,

    Is there something you can do to encourage a hen to go broody? I understand it's mostly up to the hen and her breed and nature, but maybe one of you has a trick to help? I have heard before that hens seeing another with a clutch may lead to more going broody, or even seeing chicks may do the same. Do you think that is coincidence, or there is something to it? The problem with that is if it does work, about the only way I'd get some chicks is to buy them or incubate them, and if I already have some chicks, I wouldn't need a broody anymore - I'd rather that their mother raised them.

    I have had a broody pen ready for months, with a nice little doghouse style nest box for a mama to set and raise a clutch, and a nice 8' x 8' run, isolation pen, where they can see but no touch with the rest of the flock right from the start, but so far no one wants to cooperate, and here it is mid June already.

    What I have is five Golden Commets, that I know are not very likely to go broody, but occasionally do, I also have one RIR, and four Barred Rock girl that may go broody, and four Buff Orps that are supposed to often go broody. And a RIR rooster. They all were two around Easter.

    What I would like to do is if I can get one to set, is save up 8 or 10 or so Barred Rock eggs that I can tell by the color, move the broody to the broody pen/nest and if that doesn't break her, swap her eggs with all RIR x BR eggs to make my own Black Stars.

    Any ideas on how to encourage one to kick in her maternal instinct?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    13,747
    23,289
    922
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If they're two years old and haven't gone broody yet, they're not likely to.
     
    Maugwa likes this.
  3. Maugwa

    Maugwa Songster

    96
    260
    126
    Jul 1, 2018
    Goshen County, Wyoming
    I kind of figured that, or at least hoped for exceptions, and have been hoping one would change her mind. That is kind of unusual for Orpingtons isn't it? I may end up buying some day old chicks. I've been looking at Speckled Sussex, but may add a couple of Cochins to maybe have better future luck finding a mother. (I don't think Silkies may be hardy enough for where I live).
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    13,747
    23,289
    922
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Hatchery stock doesn't seem to go broody as much. The big hatcheries don't selectively breed for broodiness.
     
    Maugwa likes this.
  5. Maugwa

    Maugwa Songster

    96
    260
    126
    Jul 1, 2018
    Goshen County, Wyoming
    I take if from that statement, that maybe even the Cochins that are advertised as very broody may not be either. Have you any ideas of small hatcheries or breeders who may sell just a few chicks or hatching eggs that would be more likely to become broody? I'd like to have a small clutch of replacement hens each year as my original girls get older.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: