Why have our Rhode Islands never produced babies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SuzanneW, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    For nearly 9 year's, we have had Rhode Island reds and cockerals and yet, never have they had babies. They have been broody but nothing in there.

    When we had another variety, one did have a baby but she killed him/her and that is the only time.

    I have read that Rhode Islands are great for eggs but not for chicks and this seems to be proving true. But we stick to them because of all the varieties we have had, they prove to be not aggresive.

    Suzanne

    ps: I should just add that egg laying is not a problem; although not all of they lay. We have 13 now.
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you manage the hens when they go broody? Do you leave them with the flock, move them to a special nest in the coop, or separate them in their own space? Is there something that always disturbs them? There have been RIRs that have brooded successfully.
     
  3. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply. first glad to hear that RIR do brood successfully.

    We have about 4 boxes up high where they lay their eggs and we always know when one is broody because she doesn't move from her place and gets very grouchy. This can last up to a week and then suddenly, she gets up and acts normal; we recover eggs and find nothing there!
     
  4. WaterFowl209

    WaterFowl209 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the problem might be in the chosen rooster stock, perhaps he is not very fertile, maybe adding a new roo to the flock may help
     
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    RIR are not good for going broody as this have been bred out of them. Your hens are not sitting on the eggs long enough for them to hatch out chicks . They need to brood on the eggs constantly (only leaving for food a drink a couple times a day). After only 7 days are you seeing any veins or signs of a growing chick inside? How are you looking into the egg?

    A chicken must brood the eggs for 21 days until they will hatch. If she leaves the eggs for any long time during this time, they will chill, and the growing chicks will die, even if she goes back and continues brooding them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes RIRs are not the most dependable broody. Still my grandfather had a RIR pullet hide away and hatch a clutch of eggs. But it is rare. If it were me trying to hatch RIRs the natural way I think I would get a more dependable breed to use as a surrogate broody. Or. How do you feel about incubators? Still if you want to keep trying. If one goes broody again, try moving her to a quiet nest away from the hussel bussel of the nest boxes. It might help if there are no distractions, like squawking at the other hens coming to lay.
     
  7. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    When she has sat on them for a week, we won't use them for consumption. What I do initially is to put them up against a light and one can see a "substance" there. This has proved successful with another breed of chicken, but she let eggs go cold and they died. If I am not sure, Usually the eggs don't have any babies so she was just broody but obviously nothing came to.

    We had the white breed of chickens for some time (not sure of their name), but they were always attacking each other and it was too much to see them suffering, so we gave them away.

    If you can recommend another breed of chicken with Rhode Island Red temperments, then that would be great.
     
  8. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    They have their own boxes inside the pen house. I guess though we just want things to be as natural as possible, which is obviously to our detriment if nothing is happening!
     
  9. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

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    I am new to this chicken world, but I have a friend who raises Buff Orpringtons, and she loves their wonderful disposition, and tells me they make the most wonderful broody mama's. They are beautiful too! I saw this handsome Buff O rooster at the county fair this summer.
    [​IMG]THey are cold hearty as well. Good Luck! Welcome to BYC[​IMG]
    MB
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  10. SuzanneW

    SuzanneW Out Of The Brooder

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    Lol we match with our hair colour [​IMG]
     

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