Orpingtons? Looking for a good dual purpose who will go broody


10 Years
Oct 4, 2009
We're moving out to the country in the early spring and I can't wait to get some chickens!!!!!!

It's been about a month and I've been googling away, trying to figure out which chickens are best for us. I had finally decided on Barred rocks when DUN DUN DUN found out they rarely go broody. I want chicks so broodiness is important to me. We want eggs but also meat and want to have a flock that keeps self populating. We want to supply our friends and family with chicken.

I was thinking what if ALL my orpingtons go broody? I'm assuming this is a bad bad thing as they stop laying but what are the chances of all of them going broody? I like the orpingtons, they seem friendly and docile.

Would we be better off getting different breeds, and just a few orpingtons to brood eggs when we need to replenish our stock? What would be a good way of going about this?


If anyone has breeds they can recommend or if you have orpingtons, I would love to hear about it!
Orpingtons will go broody and are good mothers. They're also people-friendly birds. I'd say that they are a good choice if you're looking to have a self-sustaining flock and want your hens hatching chicks.
I have never had an Orp go broody. I'm not saying that they don't, but mine never have, and I've had a good few.
Let's see....the best critter that I have experience with that would seem to suit your needs would be my Jersey Giants. They are slow maturing, but they put out a nice carcass once they're done! They lay a pretty good number of eggs a year, prolly 250 or so, and they are my broodiest large fowl. I've got one brooding right now in fact!
Another option is to just buy a Silkie hen. They do nothing but brood, and they make fantastic mothers. They are not as small as traditional bantams, and blend well with large fowl. Socially, I mean. They look totally different. And they are absolutely adorable....
Now, for self-populating: The easiest way to do this is to get an incubator. Even a crappy little styrofoam LG will do the trick, it's what I've got. THe problem with naturally brooding hens is that they will sit on 12, hatch ten, and then go hide and come back with 5. Incubators are a little more reliable.
It also depends on the birds. Only one of my Orps has ever gone broody, but she was a great mom. They are quite entertaining as well. I always know when I get an egg from one of the Orps
You don't need to worry about all your chickens going broody, unless you have Silkies. At one point I had 10 Silkie hens and 8 of them were broody at once.

If you want to preserve broodiness, order from a breeder instead of a hatchery. In my opinion, hatchery stock is less likely to go broody because they actively discourage it.
So with all that others have said in mind, I would think that a mixed flock would be best....a few breeds prone to broodiness, and others that aren't. Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks, and Wyandottes are all dual purpose birds, with Orps having the best reputations as good mothers... Brahmas are another, and are supposed to be good mothers as well... Good luck!
I've had several of my orps go broody. I agree that breeder birds tend to go broody more often than hatchery birds. Back when I had hatchery stock it was rare for one of my hens to go broody. I don't know where you're located but my wyandottes are a nice breed and they go broody too and a nice size bird. If you're in a cold climate their rose combs take the cold better than some of the birds that have a larger straight comb.
Thanks everyone, I am looking for a breeder in my area and even posted a thread hoping to find any in Ontario/Quebec or heck, ANYWHERE in Canada lol. I am really hoping to avoid a hatchery.

I think I may get a few silkies, they are just too cute. They are really as broody as the internet says!?!?! :O lol

I only worry that white silkies are said to attract hawks more than other coloured chickens? Is that true?

I will look into Jersey Giants, thanks for the suggestion. I just love the look of orpingtons though, and the barred rocks. If I have too many breeds, I'll end up with lots of cross breeds. Is that a bad thing? I'm just guessing that roosters don't stick to their own breed. hehe
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Whether cross breeds are "a bad thing" or not is really a matter of personal preferences... My flock started out w/ different breeds and resulted in quite a few crosses. Personally I prefer preserving the breeds (there must be a reason why you're interested in a particular breed or two?), and have decided to go all wyandotte.

What you could do though, is keep say, both orps and rocks, with a roo for each breed, then separate before gathering eggs for hatching. You could still stick the eggs under any broody you should happen to have, just make sure to mark them and remove any unmarked egg.
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I've had several of my orps go broody. I agree that breeder birds tend to go broody more often than hatchery birds.

I agree with Katy. I have some Orps with chicks right now. They often go broody & make good mothers. Most, but not all, of my Orp hens have been broody at some point this year.
I think the hatchery birds (which, to me, don't really look like Orpingtons) are probably geared more for egg production & are probably less likely to go broody.

I don't know whether others would agree. Some of the former excellent dual purpose qualities of Orpingtons seem to have been lost. Personally I tend to think they take to long to mature to be a good meat bird. I don't know whether wyandottes would be better for meat.​

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