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
Cutie, the Epitome of Broodiness
The Epitome of Broodiness
When our family first returned from our time of missionary service in Mexico, we needed temporary housing while we looked to purchase a home. The best deal for us, our children and our animals (horses & dogs) was a partially renovated barn. The hayloft had been converted to living quarters, while the bottom had been left in stalls and animal pens. The landlord had a mixed flock of chickens, which roomed below our living quarters, and graciously gave permission for us to use whatever eggs we might like.
This gave great pleasure to our two daughters. They found a little basket for eggs and, together, they searched the stalls, gathering eggs. They did this every day for several months. For them it was fun. For the rest of us…well … delicious!
There were a number of bantams among the flock. One in particular caught their attention. She was a little speckled Cochin bantam which they dubbed “Cutie.” Cutie actually followed them around while they collected eggs. She wasn’t content just to watch. Her mothering instincts were so strong that whenever they set the basket down, Cutie would climb in and begin arranging “her eggs” for incubation! It was a sight to see! I’m sure, if we had left her on a basket of eggs, without moving her for a day or two, she’d have gone hard broody, trying to hatch them!
There are factors other than just broodiness which determine the success of a hen in hatching a clutch. We were not about to set Cutie up to hatch eggs. Yet, we were quite impressed with her extreme mothering instincts. If one picked up the egg basket with Cutie in it, she would not get out!
Cutie was memorable because she was an example of extreme broodiness. Some breeds of chicken, when broody, can be “broken up,” meaning discouraged to the point they no longer try, simply by moving the nest box. Cutie seemed so intent on setting on a nest that we suspected she’d have stuck tight, even if the nest had been in a wagon being pulled by squealing children!