Broody Hens, Behavior and How to Handle It

  • Need a Better Understanding of the Broody Hen?
  • Here’s a Couple Articles That will Help you Address this Behavior
  • Definition of Broody: A hen with strong instincts to hatch eggs, whether or not they are fertile, or even present in the nest.

The Signs of a Broody Hen

Your hen won’t leave the nest, appears to not be eating, her feathers are all fluffed up, she’s pale, and lethargic. These are classic signs of the broody hen. First of all she isn’t starving, she is eating and drinking, but it’s low on her list of priorities… Read Article

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What is a Broody Hen and How to Deal With It McMurray Hatchery Blog

Chicken Breeds with Broody Tendencies

If you are only interested in egg production than you may not want to purchase chicks that have broody tendencies.  Broody hens can be troublesome, so if your not looking for a mother hen, here are the breeds you may want to avoid… Read Article

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Why Hens Leave the Nest After Laying an Egg

A Hen Knows Best…

Chickens never lay more than one egg per day. If the eggs are not collected, and a sufficient number of eggs are allowed to remain in the nest, the hen may stop laying eggs and start brooding. When the hen leaves the nest after laying an egg, it cools which suspends the development of the embryo inside.

If the temperature remains between 45F and 65F, the embryos will remain viable for as long as two weeks. When the hen becomes broody and sits on her eggs for three weeks, all of the eggs will hatch at about the same time. This is why it is normal for the hen to leave the nest after laying.

Buff Orpington, Docile, Often Broody

Remember, not all hens will sit on eggs…ever. However, some breeds have very strong tendencies to become broody, or be inclined to incubate eggs.

Here are a few common broody breeds…

•Buff Orpingtons
• Silkies
• Cochins
• Light Brahmas
• Dark Cornish
• Buff Rocks
• Turkens
•Buff Brahmas
• Cuckoo Marans
• Cochin Bantams
• Cornish Bantams

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Best and Worst Heat Tolerant Chickens

Most chicken keepers are more concerned about cold tolerant breeds. But if you live in the Sonoran desert, the scorching heat is by far a bigger problem.  Before you order your Spring chicks keep in mind these three breeds for heat hardiness. They’ve proved to me over and over to be the real survivors of the flock.

Best

  • Ameraucana
  • Dominique  (Best of heavy breeds)
  • Polish
  • Silkie
  • Bantams in General

Heavy birds are harder to keep in hot weather, especially if they are confined. They may survive, but heat stress does effect egg production. However, it’s not always just heavy breeds I find intolerant. These are the breeds I’ve had the least success with in extreme temperatures of 110 – 117.

Worst

  • Orpington
  • Leghorn
  • Most Heavy Breeds in General
  • Rhode Island Reds

I’ve eliminated the Rhode Islands from my flock not because they don’t survive the heat… they absolutely do. However, they become extremely agitated in brutal heat and all the other members of the flock pay the price. This breed may lay all summer without interruption, but they can sure disrupt the harmony of a flock when they are uncomfortable in high temperatures.

In my opinion, the real trooper in the worst weather conditions is the Ameraucana, and they’re good layers too! But don’t pick this breed if your looking for a pal, this is the loser breed as far as I’m concerned. The perfect word describing this breed is ALOOF.

The Ameraucana, or often called the Easter Egger lays blue/green eggs, and you can expect approximately four medium-large eggs per week.

Learn more about the Ameraucana.

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