Broody chickens tend to get a bad rap. Although broody breeds are certainly disadvantageous if you want to sell eggs, broody chickens are the queens of motherhood. They have strong and natural instincts to hatch their eggs and raise strong chicks.
Whether you are looking to avoid broody chickens or want a breed that will make fantastic mothers, you are in the right place. In this article, we are going to look at the top five broody chicken breeds. Let us get started.
What Makes a Broody Chicken?
Many sites talk about broody chickens without telling you exactly what this term means. To put it simply, a hen will get broody whenever she wants her eggs to hatch. She will go so far as to sit on top of the eggs all day so they can reach the perfect temperature for hatching. Even if the eggs are not hers or fertile, a broody hen will brood, nonetheless.
It is not exactly known what makes a chicken broody, but it is likely to be a mixture of instinct, hormones, and maturity. Some chicken breeds tend to get broodier than others for this reason. If you want a chicken for chick-raising purposes, definitely select a broodier breed. In contrast, you may want to stay away from broody breeds if you want a chicken for egg-laying purposes.
The 5 Best Broody Hen Breeds
All chickens are slightly different. No matter what breed your chicken is, she will follow her own instincts. Even if your chicken comes from a broodier breed, she might not be particularly broody. Conversely, you may find a broody hen that does not belong to a breed known for its broodiness. Nevertheless, here are five chicken breeds that tend to be broody:
1. Silkie Chickens
Silkies are easily one of the most adorable and broodiest chicken breeds. They look like little Muppets, and they almost always go broody. These chicken breeds are so maternal that they have been known to care for other bird types as well. Plus, they are great around children.
If you want a chicken breed that is most likely to go broody, this is definitely the breed for you. They brood the most. This chicken breed broods so much, in fact, that they are sometimes called the “Broody Queens”. You should not opt for silkies if you want a large egg turn out.
2. Brahma Chickens
Brahmas are a very large and ancient chicken breed. They tend to have a sweet and calm demeanor. In fact, these chickens are known to be a great family breed because they are generally quiet, child-friendly, good layers, and brood frequently.
Brahmas are a much better breed for chick raising. They go broody often, meaning you can expect them to be fantastic mothers. They also are known as being decent layers, though they certainly do not put out the highest number of eggs.
3. Sussex Chicken
The Sussex is another very old breed of chicken. These chickens are known for being incredibly prolific egg layers. Like the Brahmas, they are considered docile and friendly. Whenever though weather warms up, they are likely to go broody.
The Sussex is a great breed if you both want to raise chicks and have a large egg production. You are guaranteed for them to brood at least once a year, but they will spend the rest of the year laying a good number of eggs.
4. Chantecler Chickens
Not all chickens are cut out for cold temperatures. If you are looking for a broody breed that can tolerate cold, then the Chantecler is the go-to chicken breed for you. This breed can handle really hard weather while still laying eggs steadily and brooding once a year.
One of the Chantecler breed’s biggest benefits is that they are great for a variety of purposes. They can produce many eggs, hatch, and raise chicks for you, and have a lot of meat on their bones. This makes them a great option if you need a chicken for egg and meat purposes.
5. Cochin Chickens
If you are more concerned about raising chicks, definitely opt for cochins. They are likely to brood and will raise the chicks for you. Since they do not produce many eggs and are likely to brood, this breed is not ideal for egg-laying purposes.
Should I Get a Broody Chicken?
Whether a broody chicken is a good or bad thing for you will depend on who you ask. There are some instances when a broody breed is ideal for your chicken purposes, but there are other instances when it will be incredibly annoying and disadvantageous.
Generally speaking, you should get a broody chicken if you are more concerned about chick-raising and the maternal instincts of your chicken. Broodier breeds will have a much stronger instinct to raise chicks and will do most of the chick-raising job for you.
In contrast, you should not get a broody hen if you are more concerned with egg production. Whenever a chicken broods, she will stop laying eggs. Even if the egg she is laying on is not fertile, a brooding chicken will remain on the egg and stop her other egg production. This is a really big hindrance to those who want to sell eggs.
Your reason for owning chickens will determine whether or not you want a broody breed. If you want to raise chicks, opt for a broody hen. Conversely, stay away from broody breeds if you want a large egg turnout.
Remember, not all chickens will follow their breed’s tendency to brood. Even the broodiest breed will occasionally have a hen that does not like to brood. However, you may find a broody chicken belonging to a breed least known for their brooding.
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