Will Poulet's instinct to brood one day be influenced by having a good mama hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alxw, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. alxw

    alxw Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2012
    I have a partridge old english game hen who hatched out six babies by a RIRr she has been such a good mom and has taught her babies everything from scratching for bugs to looking up in the sky if they hear predator birds. In the past I have had incubator babies but none have ever gone broody. Will my hens poulet's make good broody hens one day since they were hatched and raised with mama hen ?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have the majority of my American Games and some of my American Dominiques raise their own chicks. A good number of such hens over last couple years have been brooder reared. Based on observations, first time mothers do not differ based upon how they where raised with possible exception as to how they respond to predators. Bulk of learning rather comes from being expereince as a mother. First time mothers are more likely to loose brood to weather or predators but same individuals seem more successful with subsequent broods. Difference could be experience of attempting previous brood or simply maturation, that I have not really looked into.
     
  3. alxw

    alxw Out Of The Brooder

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    There has not been enough research done on behavior of chickens. I'm sure that most people regard them as unintelligent. Yet as the years go by and I watch my flock for extended periods of time the more I become fascinated with these animals that most think of as clueless. These birds clearly have cognitive abilities and form family structures. J/w if the young poulet's somehow retain and mimic the lessons their momma hen does. I guess it remains an open topic of discussion if future broodiness in poulet's has any relation to how they are raised.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Earlier today, a BYC poster made a comment that has stuck with me. This breeder stated that she (I think) always put an ankle band on the females hatched from her known, good broody hen. This ID'd the broody's subsequent pullets. She stated she always tried to keep at least one pullet offspring from this broody. Sure enough, that pullet grew up to be a broody hen. She stated she marked again and sure enough the granddaughter grew up to be a great broody too.

    Never got a broody hen outside of that particular female line, as I remember.

    Now THAT was interesting to me. This breeder felt, for obvious reasons, that the trait was inherited, but of course, all these hens were also brooded naturally so it colors the findings or at least the absolute nature of the conclusions drawn But still.......
     
  5. alxw

    alxw Out Of The Brooder

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    That is a good idea. They say that going broody has a little something to do with light, breed, age, bla bla and who knows what else. People seem to think that learned behavior is not possible. Yet Fred's Hens the BYC post about how she tracked the generations it just seems possible that learned behavior is a possibility with these animals. Three generations of good broodiness seems more than just chance. I've had chickens for six years and for six years all I have only ever had one hen (which I just acquired) go broody on every clutch she hatched. This is also the first hen where there have been no casualities and I have been blessed enough to see the chicks grow and develop day by day. Sure light, breed, age, etc. are all factors. I would love love love to see a true case study done on if broodiness is potentially a behavior learned by young poulet's, What is the relationship between momma hen and her roo's what does she have to teach them?
     

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