Would Silkies be able to sit on and hatch out quail eggs?


In the Brooder
Mar 13, 2018
My family wants to begin raising quail, the reason for quail over chicken is that they start laying at 6 weeks old, are ready to eat at 8 weeks, they're as prolific egg layers as most chickens (1 egg per hen per day) and because we eat the whole quail aside from the organs which will go to the dog and the cat, on a chicken we really only eat the breasts and the wings so that's half an animal wasted. The biggest issue with quail is that all domesticated quail breeds have lost their maternal instinct, they won't sit on their eggs or raise their young. We have had bad experiences with incubation in the past and as a family that leans towards being "survivalist" and oriented toward self-suffiency, being dependent on an incubator working to maintain our flock is less than ideal. We got the idea that a 3 or so broody hens from a small breed could sit on and hatch the chicks, and then afterward we could take them and care for them until they have their feathers. Silkies seem appealing because apparently they're the most broody breed, they're small and they're cute, but we are open to any breed at all, as long as they'll happily sit on the eggs and they're not so big that they'll break them. Aside from that, they're basically going to be pets, played with and loved and allowed to forage around the property, their eggs will be a nice bonus but we'll already have a bunch of quail eggs to eat, and we really only use eggs for baking, we aren't very much into eating eggs themselves.

What breed of hens do you recommend? Would silkies work?

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