Getting started. Why raise chickens? 0/3
Requirements (parts list) for raising chickens 0/4
Basic breed types and their characteristics 0/2
Purebred flock vs. assortment 0/1
Incubators and hatching chicks 0/3
When things go wrong and predators too! 0/5
Processing birds 0/4
Broody vs. Non Broody Hens
Two Broody Kraienkoppe Hens
What does “Broody” Mean?
If one hangs around with chicken lovers for more than a couple of hours, it is certain that he will hear the term “broody.” “Broody” refers to the maternal condition of a chicken which has decided to have chicks. Broody hens raise chicks.
It is important, however, to remember that chickens don’t think like we do. In fact, they hardly think at all. Most of what they do is hard wired into their brains as instinct. So, for instance, it is not uncommon to come upon a hen brooding on an empty nest, a dirt clod or even a door knob! Often, a broody hen can be convinced to adopt chicks she did not hatch. I’ve had broody hens hatch ducklings and attempt to mother them. I’ve even seen pictures of a broody hen trying to “brood” a kitten! They do not consciously make the connection between eggs and chicks, But they usually prefer sitting on chicks or eggs over other objects.
We call a hen “broody” when she wants either to incubate eggs (or any other object) or when she has babies and wants to keep them warm.
Breeds of chickens tend to be broody or non broody, meaning: Some breeds will hardly ever try to hatch eggs themselves, while some breeds are crazy obsessed with hatching their own babies.
Non broody breeds are almost always the ones developed for the highest egg production. Leghorns, for instance, rarely go broody, and when they do, it’s only for an afternoon at most. Many all-purpose breeds go broody, though there can be great variation in the broody instinct between differing strains of the same breed.
Game fowl (fighting breeds), silkies and all bantams are fanatical mothers. They constantly seek to hatch eggs and raise chicks.