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in praise of broody hens  RSS feed

 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 220
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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I'm having to artificially incubate my ONLY broody hen's eggs. She's about 9 yers old, so you can imagine the stress. Along with her and the roo in the chicken tractor is an AAustralorp, about the same age. The Australorp went broody once, lived through a dog attack, and never went broody again. I was just happy she survived and started laying again! As close as I can figure, the roo is part Buff Brahma. They're all about the same age.
Here's my praise report. I have had to take q crash course in incubating and raising chicks. We have to learn this stuff, but they don't. We have to be warned about temp, moisture, drafts, breezes, etc., but they do a fine job without taking a class.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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The broodiest breed I have raised are Bantam Cochins.  Seems like all they want to do is hatch eggs.  But they are so tiny, they can't sit on very many.  They pass broody genes on to larger offspring, however.

 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 220
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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We were given some layers, among them a Rhode Island Red and an Australorp. These two are the only ones left. They're the only ones left. It's hard to find a decent sized chicken that goes broody. The rooster has just "demoted" them from favorites to second rate. I feel like those are good genes. When the rooster prefers 8 year old hens to young layers, that means something! The heat up here bothers so many heavily feathered breeds they lay better in the winter. I didn't look into the bantam Cochin, because I wanted a good size layer. The rooster is part Buff Brahma, his daughter/granddaughter looks like a pic of the hens. She's an H.A. setter that lays huge eggs.
How good are the Bantam Cochins at laying in the heat?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Posts: 9734
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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It's been in the high 80s to mid 90s (will be to the upper 90s today) and everyone is laying like crazy.  Eggs are about half the size of full-size chicken eggs. 

Currently three hens are broody, but I don't have a rooster anymore, so it is all for nothing.

 
Kevin Swanson
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Buff orpingtons go broody and they are a decent sized bird. I usually have 1 or 2 out of 6 total hens go broody.
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