ANZ's Farms

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Broody Hens

Now that we have two "accidental" roosters, I wish I still had my broody hen, a Buff Orpington. Her broodiness was triggered by only three eggs, so if I didn't get out to the nesting boxes often, she started setting. Since that meant she stopped laying, I was displeased with her and put her in time out -- the chicken tractor where she could not get to the nesting boxes. It took days to break her brood, then back to the flock she would go.

Oh, to have her now. We want to try to raise our own chicks and we need a hen to do it for us. But none of the girls are broody like Buffy, may she rest in peace. I have heirloom breeds that have broody tendencies -- Black Australorp, Delaware, Barred Rock, Silver Laced Wyandotte -- as well as an Ameracauna that pecks at me when I gather eggs, but no one who won't leave the nesting box.

So, after an online search (this is the best article I found), we placed plastic easter eggs in the boxes, 7 eggs each in their 2 favorite boxes. We painted them first since chickens can see color; I didn't feel the neon pinks, blues and greens would fool the girls. If we can trigger a brood, then we will place her in a secure location to hatch the eggs, a place where the chicks can arrive safely away from the rest of the flock.

That's Plan A. Here is a look at Plan B ... the seven new chicks we got yesterday from The Little Birdie Hatchery in Wake Forest. Two Welsummers, two Orpingtons, and one each of a Dominique, New Hampshire and Speckled Sussex. Welcome to the farm, girls!


  1. Have you considered an incubator with an egg-turner?

  2. Monica, we have. And if necessary we may come to that. But we would like the girls to do it for us ... the natural way!

  3. Amelia, have you thought about getting some bantams? They are more naturally broody than the bigger hens who've been bred for meat & eggs. They have delightful personalities and they'd make a nice addition to your flock :) - Connie