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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Broody Hen

It seems that we've got a White Leghorn hen that has gone broody.

I guess it isn't a problem. We've been planning on hatching some chicks but things keep interfering and it will probably be another month before we can put a batch in the incubator. I'm hoping that this hen can hatch some chicks for us, but we don't have spare cage to put her in by herself. Right now that pen has 5 hens and a rooster. Currently, all the hens lay in the same spot and that is where Miss Broody has set up housekeeping. I don't know if this will cause any issues. One possible problem I see is that when broody gets up to eat or drink the other hens can come in and drop more eggs and pretty soon there will be too many for her to sit on.

Maybe we can use a pencil or something to mark the eggs in the current batch and if the other hens lay more eggs in the nest then we can tell them apart and take only the new eggs.

My wife would just as soon not hatch any more Whites. She doesn't like them because they are too high strung and the roosters are mean, which are both valid points. The Black Australorps are so gentle that even my four year old daughter can walk in and pick up any of them including the roosters. My better half likes that, and since they seem to lay about as well as the Whites I guess she has a point. The Rhode Island Red hens seem to be about as gentle as the Black's, but we don't have a Red rooster so I don't know if they are as gentle as the Blacks. I'd like a Red rooster, but you can't order just one so I'll have to ask around locally to see if anyone has one.

I just like to have some variety. I suspect that different breeds may have better resistance to different ailments which could be an advantage, but I don't know if that is really true.

If anyone has advice on broody hens please let me know.

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