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New to this! Question..opinions wanted :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Stephanie739, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello. I have 2 leghorns and 2 golden comets (hens), my first experience with chickens. I have fallen head over heels in love with chickens (caught me off guard too!) Anyway, tomorrow I am getting a australorp hen and rooster. I want chickens babies. I asked the farm owner if the australorp hen has shown any tendency towards broodiness, and he said he didn't really know (many chickens running around) but that he has a hen for me since I want a broody hen (in addition to the 2 australorps). He said, "give her some eggs and she will sit on them."

    Question:

    Does broodiness usually mean a good mother?



    Any other advice for me?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChickenMack

    ChickenMack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, broodiness does not mean she will be a good mother. And if she does goes broody, it doesn't mean she will stay on the eggs for 21 days. You just have to try and see. One thing I have learned in my short time (3 years) as a chicken Mama, hatchery hens are different than hens raised by hens- but this is not a blanket statement, some hatchery hens are great mothers. One thing- enter soapbox- that is happening in the hatcheries, especially with dual purpose birds, is they are literally breeding broodiness out of the hens, a broody bird will not lay eggs for up to 9 weeks and if she moults right after well, if you sell eggs, you don't have a producer for up to 6 months.

    So watch your hens, once they go broody, you will know- they won't get out of the box, kind of like an extended setting for eggs and if you do pull her out, she will fluff up and get right back in and settle down. For your first try, to see if she will sit for three weeks and then mother, don't invest too many eggs, give her a few that you don't mind wasting if things don't work out and if she does sit, be ready to brood them yourself if she doesn't want to mother them. She will let you know in no uncertain terms what her plans are for her future.

    I got rid of my hatchery RIR's(not one went broody in two years) got one Buff Orpington and one heritage RIR and the RIR ended up being a great mother with a clutch she hatched in August, my BO has yet to go broody. Hope that helps.
     
  3. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had hens who would not go broody, unless they had a nest full of eggs to set on, and I've had them as described in the post above. If you get one that doesn't brood without eggs, try leaving 6 or 8 of her eggs in the nest box. You can always trade fresh eggs, for the ones she is setting on after a few days.
     
  4. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Yes I have been reading about hens attacking the babies. Oh my! Well I will just play this day by day as I have been so far, and so far so good. Loving my chickies! [​IMG]
     
  5. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can also get a golden laced wyandotte and a dominique tomorrow if I want (hens)....I was really just planning on the two australorps (1 rooster/1 hen) but then the broody hen talk came up too. The farmer is catching all 5 for me. What do you think? Am I getting a bit obsessive? I just want to have a hen hatch some babies (for fun and family sustaining goals) I want a smooth merger with my 4 girls too. Im thinking first 3 will be plenty.[​IMG]
     
  6. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think he has other roosters available too (various breeds) ..I'm just curious, which of the five would you choose based on my situation and plans? I'm in the mountains of va. While not frigidly cold too often, we do get snow and some single digits. All these breeds go broody from what I understand.

    Black Australorps
    Gold Laced Wyandottes
    Dominique
    broody hen of unknown breed
     
  7. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a soft spot for Dominques, because I had one that was a wonderful mother. She would even steal chicks from other hens. They are rose combed so they stand the cold well.
     

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