Help Needed for a Newbie Please!

Which Breed do You Prefer For Layers/ Pets?

  • Orpingtons

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Leghorns

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Araucana

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Red Shaver

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (Please Comment in Thread)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .

Silver Bantam

Cheesy Muffin
5 Years
So I am currently considering ordering some Buff Orpington, or Leghorn Eggs. Can't quite decide which ones at the moment because the Orpingtons down here are from good show stock (Not that I'm looking into showing at all at this stage, but as a rabbit fancier the purebreds do appeal to me) and are a little cheaper, but then from what I've heard Leghorns are much better layers. I don't have any personal experience with either of the breeds, as all of our hens are mutts, the majority being bantam crosses.

So my question is how long after a broody hen begins sitting do I risk getting some eggs? We have two hens broody right now, both of whom have been sitting on their nests for a few days already. When I go out to collect eggs there are usually a few under them though, so I'm wondering if they have been hopping off for an extended period of time every day and some other chicken is laying in there? Or would the broody hens be laying themselves?

Part of the reason I'm considering doing this now is because a family member will be going away for the day to pick up a vehicle, and they've agreed to pick up any critters etc. on the way for me. So I really need fast answers as to whether or not it's worth it, or even realistic, to expect to get about eight chicks from a lot of twelve eggs. And some breed information would be extremely helpful as well, as the things I've read have been very diverse.

If you have any other suggestions on what breed would be best then please go ahead, as there is a large variety of eggs available from what I've seen. We are really wanting a good laying bird, though if there is a bantam breed that is a fairly consistent layer then I'd be keen :)

Thanks in advance!


Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Howdy Silver Bantam

I am not able to answer your poll as I have no experience with the breeds you mention, except for a Bantam Leghorn who passed away a couple of years ago.

I can answer a couple of your questions though from personal experience but others may have differing opinions.

I have 6 x bantams and no roosters. Personally, when I have given my broody gals purchased fertile eggs, I would not consider it after a maximum of 1.5 weeks already sitting. I worry about her loss of weight and condition if she is sitting for too long beforehand and then adding another three weeks to the stretch. Also, if she has been sitting for a while before she gets the fertile eggs, the chance of her giving up and deserting them towards the end is higher.

I give her some 'dud' eggs for a couple of days to ensure she is serious and then I order eggs for her, so usually, she has them within the week.

My broody gals normally stop laying on day 2 of broodiness if they lay while broody; so they might lay one or two eggs at the very start of going broody but then stop. They do, however, quite happily steal eggs from other nests and I have seen a broody roll an egg across the coop floor into her nest and another tuck one under a wing! When giving the broody fertile eggs it is imperative to mark them so you know which ones she has ‘stolen’ if you have extras

In my experience 8 from 12 is realistic but be warned .. 8 of the 8 could be roosters

My bantams lay every day or second day and sometimes might take 3-4 days off. We do not use a lot of eggs and give most away to the neighbours or feed them back to the gals, scrambled. However, as they seem to spend more time broody than laying, I would not describe any of them as ‘consistent’

Silver Bantam

Cheesy Muffin
5 Years
Thank you both very much for your replies! Very helpful :)

@Teila ; The two hens have only been on the nest with commitment for two days (I think), so would that be alright then?

I have heard of the marker thing, and I will make sure to do that if I do end up getting some hatching eggs.

I am also prepared for the chance that they could all end up being cocks, because at the end of the day I'm just learning right now- and although I'm not loaded with cash to throw around on a whole lot of different batches of eggs, I'm quite happy to have the experience and then pass the roosters on to a farmy friend of ours.

@appps ; Thank you for the suggestion :) It seems as though that about the only breed I can't get a hold of though, so I don't think that will work.

Ugh, decisions! I pretty much have to decide within an hour what type, and if I even want to do it this time. I don't like time pressure.

Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jan 30, 2015
Whilst you have already decided on what to do, I would urge a little caution on having two hens sitting at the same time - once the chicks hatch it's possible that one mother will attack and kill the chicks of the other hen. If you have indeed set eggs under both then it would be a good idea to have two separate broody areas for both your hens and their chicks.

Good luck

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