Young broody better than old? Mean better than timid?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Eric in NC, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Eric in NC

    Eric in NC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2008
    Ok - two of my 1st year buff orps have gone broody. These girls hatched in early March. Are they just as good potential "moms" as older (1 plus year old) hens? Or should I not let them try to hatch chicks out till next year?

    Also - one is an absolute bear (pecks, fights, etc. if you try to get her off the nest) and the other will let you pick her up and move her off and even stands around till you are done in her area. Which would you pick to let hatch her eggs out?
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I think a lot depends on YOU as their owner & how much time & attention you're willing to give to broody hen. If you're willing you can go ahead & give each hen an opportunity to show you her broody skills. Each hen I've let go broody has her own component of skills.

    The only ones I would NOT allow to brood would be ditzy ones that quit half-way through their set, or psycho ones that attack & kill their young.

    Young hens can be good broodies, so can both friendly & aggressive ones. But if your time & other resources are limited and you must only choose one hen to do your brooding, I'd pick a fierce and experienced hen. And get some leather gloves to use if you must tend to her while in the nest.
     
  3. Eric in NC

    Eric in NC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2008
    Quote:How do you determine that before you allow them to brood?
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:Well, you really can't. But once you've seen how well or how poorly your hen does with her first attempt you can plan accordingly the next time. You wouldn't want to place expensive rare-breed eggs under an untried broody hen. But it's not that much work to separate a hen in a little pen & let her try incubating some eggs you're not that concerned whether or not they'll hatch.

    Or you could try reading the secret code printed under their wings that tells you their exact level of broody skills. But I still can't figure that out... [​IMG]
     

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