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British Red

Which hens for broodiness?

We are looking to add two or three hens to our flock to act as incubators for (bought) fertilised eggs. We've done some googling but are keen to hear thoughts from the forum.

The birds would be in a separate run and coop to the main flock when incubating (and perhaps all the time)
bodger

Silkie cross English game for me, or game cross Light Sussex.
British Red

Trying to source anything English game in Lincolnshire seems tricky.

Would pure silky work?
welshboy

Any common bantam will do.
I had one sitting on duck eggs for 24 days then switched her to a new lot 28days and she hatched them beatifully  52 days sitting.
Will hatch 3 goose eggs !
marmy10

faverolle x silkie
bodger

Some bantams are miniatures of the light Mediterranean breeds which don't go broody and while I've used banties successfully, the problem with them is that they can't cover many eggs but having said that, not always of course, but they do tend to be a little more light footed than their bigger cousins.
Woodburner

Pure silkie or anything with a bit of silkie in it! ;) If you're anywhere near me, I've got some beautiful ones you can have for free.
sapphire

silkie x, gold top, pekin, banty wyandotte, sussex, oegb to name a few
soayguy

Good Brooder

I find a bantam Orpington is a  very good brooder and have used them for years. I found Silkies tend to get fed up and leave the nest to soon.
Good luck.

Click to see full size image
British Red

Thanks, we are toying with Orps,but possibly full size hens
Rena

My absolute best brooders are Orpingtons (we only have full sized) Highly recommend them.
British Red

Thanks Rena. I hear they need low perches. Can they manage say 12"?
confused

i have a Light Sussex sitting on eggs at the moment , this is her second clutch and she did a good job last season , here's hoping she does the same this year .
Rena

British Red wrote:
Thanks Rena. I hear they need low perches. Can they manage say 12"?


Mine manage that easily.
British Red

Excellent thanks. One of my LS is looking a bit broody so may let her go and put some Buff ORP eggs under her and hope for the best
bodger

I snapped this photo this evening of my two utility Light Sussex sitting tightly on some duck eggs. So tightly, that I'm literally having to prise them off so that they go for a poop and while they're away from the nest, I'm taking the opportunity to spray water on the eggs.




Dave C

Is that were they will hatch there eggs, how do they get on in the same coop ?

Also will they be ok being high up when the chicks hatch ?
bodger

Dave I've got mesh to put up infront of the nest boxes near to the time of hatching and so far, they've been fine together.
British Red

Thats encouraging bodger thanks! Mine is not sitting that tight at the moment but  more reluctant to leave after laying. We'll leave her on some unfertilised eggs tomorrow and see if she stays or gets bored.

Right now the stupid bird brains are all roosting on the roof of the inner run rather than going into the coop  

Night Roost by British Red, on Flickr
Woodburner

It might just be the warm weather, but check the coop for red mite.
British Red

No red mite in that coop unless they can resist a roofing torch used to melt asphalt
tlewis

I always seem to have broodies. The ones I like the most are Marans X Silkie. Good protectors as the back of my hands will attest!
maxie

Just had one of my ixworths hatch a chick out,i only let it have 3 eggs as the previous broody got off after 6 days,wish id give it a few more now as one got broken and one looks like its not going to hatch.All the others how no sign of sitting.
Rena

We currently have 3 hard set broodies... All buff Orpington crosses that hatched last year.
British Red

A quick update.

We found a cheap source of local indexed Buff Orpingtons  

I built them a new run with coop, shelter perch etc.

New coop and run by British Red, on Flickr

and yesterday we installed seven poults

Buff Orpington Poults by British Red, on Flickr


Any cockerels will be for the table and any Hens will hopefully become our broodies. We have access to free cockerels from another bloodline so one of those will be added after the sibling cockerels have been introduced to dumplings.

Fingers crossed that they aren't all male. Seven out of seven males would be annoying!
Dave C

Nice job  
British Red

Fingers crossed we get a decent proportion of hens
Rena

Very nice set up!!! Beautiful Buffs !!

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