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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Breshcandra, Jan 29, 2011.
Do I need a rooster for a hen to go broody?
You need a rooster for fertile eggs , but not to "make" a hen go broody. What you need to "make" a hen go broody is a broody breed of chicken and patience.
I just raised a roo, but I have hens go broody and raise chicks twice without a roo.
Once I got baby chicks, and once I got fertilized eggs.
Having a roo will not help a hen go broody. That is up to the chicken Gods. mrsk
I believe a hen's broodiness is brought on by hormonal changes, which would not require a rooster. Like the other poster said, a rooster is only required for a hen to produce fertilized eggs that will actually develop a chick. So, no rooster, no fertile eggs.
I was wondering if the hormone balance thing has anything to do with why some hen's are better at being broody than other's? You know how some will just give up after a few days and leave the nest and the eggs while other's will stick it out until the chicks are hatched and a few weeks old? Anyone know?
Also, when someone says a certain breed of chicken has had the broodiness "bred out" of them, are they saying that in the breeding of certain chickens they have scientifically made it so the breed naturally does not have the hormones necessary for broodiness?
I'm sorry if this is hijacking this thread, I hope you are as curious as I am!
I know just coincidence but my only egg laying hen went broody the day after I brought a rooster home lol, I had fertile eggs from a friend to hatch in the bator but I traded the broody her golf ball for 5 eggs. boy did she hunker down when she figured out she had 5 eggs I know she didnt go broody cause of the rooster but we were joking about it, she is a black orpington and the rooster is...a little serama!
As you have noted, some hens are better at it than others, by hatching eggs of hens that are not good at it, one gets hens for the most part that will not be good at it either, and less and less broody, in the wild, that strain of birds would go extinct. However, in animal husbandry, one can artificially raise those animals for a trait that we want, more consistent egg laying. (However, not fool proof, my first broody was a hatchery left over chick that turned out to be a Cornish cross, and they are NOT suppose to go broody, She was an excellent mother)
Interestingly enough, my husband wants good mother cows. Cows that do not bring in a calf, do not stay in the herd, they calve on their own, get that calf up and nursing on their own. Do not go out into the pasture and try and grab one of those calves, they will eat your lunch. However, that is what he wants, good mothers, do not let coyotes or mountain lions eat those babies either.
Animal husbandry is an old, old business, and kind of interesting.