Hens not broody ?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Eringm, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Eringm

    Eringm Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2016
    So I bought a massive Rhode Island Red cockerel and he's been mating with a few of the hens, normally the hens lay eggs in the early hours of the morning but by the afternoon when I go to see if they're sitting on them the hens aren't. Do they collect a certain number of eggs first ?

    And I was wondering why people choose to incubate eggs instead of leaving them with the hens

    Any answers or theory's would be great ;)
  2. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Hens go broody by their calendar, not ours. Some rarely, if ever go broody. Some who do are not reliable brooders. Having a rooster does not promote broodiness. You might want to study forums on broodiness, of which there are many.
  3. Eringm

    Eringm Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2016
    Am I best incubating then ?
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Brooding is triggered by hormones. Young hens, under a year old, don't usually go broody. And most broody-prone hens tend to brood in the spring. Hatchery sourced Rhode Island Reds are not typically broody. Leaving eggs sitting around will not induce brooding. It's just wasting eggs.
    People choose to incubate eggs because hens can't be forced into brooding. And even the good broodies only go broody once or twice a year. And they can only incubate as many as they can cover.
    Out of my 9 adult hens, 3 are prone to brooding. But only one has proven to be both a dedicated sitter, and a good mother. And she can only incubate 10 eggs at a time. If I want to raise enough males for food, and pullets to sell, I have to hatch more than 20 chicks a year. This means using an incubator.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Are the hens RIRs too??? RIRs are not known to be a broody breed because they've been bred not to be broody so that they produce more eggs. Knowing the reputation of your breeds in regards to broodiness will help you greatly. For instance Silkies and Jap banties are known for broodiness. My mixes are a broody lot. My Spitz is a broody bird.

    Hormones are what causes a hen to be broody. Some are, some aren't.

    I personally do not like hatching by broody. I prefer incubating myself. I can hatch on my time and I have more control and less stress of things I can't control in the coop.

    If you want chicks when you want them, then yes. Otherwise you are left at the mercy of nature and it's timetable.

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