just a quick question. what is the absolute best broody standard?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lcw1995, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. lcw1995

    lcw1995 Songster

    Nov 27, 2010
    Marysville Ohio
    ive heard about bo and ba being good broodys but they are fluffy and slow i am tryin to find a breed that is lean and quick and can protect theyre chicks to the death if need be ive had problems with chicks getting taken by predators and wanted to know if theyre is a certain breed that will do anything to protect theyre chicks

    and if possible if you have a picture of that breed could i please see it

    thanks, wilson
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    As a rule, any hen will do what it takes to protect her chicks, but in the end, you're just going to end up with a dead hen and probably all of her chicks. It would be better if you could make a protective run for them to be in until the chicks are bigger.
  3. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Songster

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Ditto that. But if good cover is available my partridge Marans has done a great job. Digger is not as fast as my cubalayas, but she is very wary and keeps near cover. She is deceptively fast - looks big and round, but that "lowrider" carriage gets her where she wants to go faster than any orp I've seen. She has only lost one chick out of 6, to a Cooper's hawk. I don't know how good my others would be as broodies because she won't let anyone else do it!

    I hear most game hens make great broodies, but I like my birds to be human tame. Most folks around here with game broodies, they just disappear onto their clutch and either come back with chicks or never return. I really prefer mine to set where I can lock them up at night. Digger teaches her chicks where treats come from on Day 3 or so, and they are always bouncing and flying by the end of the first week. It always seems so improbable when they have nothing but stubby quills, but I've seen it.

    I now have an incubator full of cubalayas and mixes, and I am curious to see if they learn like those chicks Digger has raised.
  4. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Songster

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    I would suggest you build a separate enclosure for any Broody Mama & chicks you want to hatch.
    Because my main flock no longer uses the run I built for them when they were pullets. I converted it into a Brooder Duplex. I built a small Broody House for hen #1 who went broody, then a day before the eggs started hatching, I bought some heavy duty plastic hex chicken fencing (3 ft high). I divided the run up into two section. Chicks started hatching on Monday, Tuesday & finished on Wednesday, 4 out of 5 eggs, not bad for a first time Mom. On Thursday, she brought them out, and takes them out everyday since. But they are completely fenced in and netted over the top. Broody Mama #2 is on lock-down in her Broody House, till Tues, when her hatch is due. I have her netting up, but need to put the latch on & upper netting across the top of the fencing to keep the other hens out. Mama #1 is fine with me going in & out, but will go into full defense mode if the other hens get to close to the fencing.

    Because we have 3 dogs, who love to run around the yard, they do not mess with the hens. The chicks will not get yard access till they are at least 3 months old. I just let my 3 month old hens out with the big girls today, see how the pecking order is re-established. I still have 4 - 6 week old chicks in the grow out pen with the little 3 month old Frizzle Roo. My 10 month old Silkie Roo is raging hormones right now, so I have him on lock-down.

    Here is Mama & her chicks on their first day out of the Broody House. I had to build a ramp for the chicks, they could not get back in the door at bedtime. Broody House #2 is not as tall, (high enough for Mama to stand tall) But easy for me to lift the roof and reach in to remove any dud eggs.


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