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What is Broody?

People new to raising chickens hear “broody” and think:

The Thinker

We are not talking about that type of “broody”. Broody for chickens indicates the hen’s interest in setting on a clutch of eggs and hatching chicks.  Basically, the hen or pullet wants to be a mommy.  If you are looking to raise more chickens, this can be a positive characteristic.  If you want a hen, however, to lay lots of eggs, broody is not desired, since a hen stops laying eggs when she goes broody.  You need to make sure the hen continues to eat and leave the nest at least once a day or more to eat, drink…and take care of business.

Different chicken breeds are known for their broodiness or lack thereof (“non-setters”). Mediterranean breeds, such as Leghorns, are generally known for not being broody.  Silkies, on the other hand, are often the poster hen for a broody, almost to a fault.

That being said, any individual female chicken can go broody.  Case in point: Meet Eggy, our Ideal 236 Leghorn Hybrid.

Broody Leghorn

Where are my eggs??

Ideal Poultry notes that the Ideal 236 is “IDEAL’S best layer—Recommended for commercial laying
operations—Excellent exterior egg quality and length of lay.”

Just goes to show, you can’t rely on breed alone as a guarantee that you are going to get what you expect.  Each chicken is unique.

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