Broodiness

Broody rhode island redIt is perfectly natural for heritage hens to go broody. The heavy breeds are more inclined to do so than the light breeds. Pekin bantams and silkies are renowned for making great sitters and excellent mothers. If you have discovered a broody in your nest box there are two options available: 

Either make use of her broodiness and use her an incubator and place a setting of eggs under her so you can hatch out your next laying generation or remove her quickly out of the nest box to a separate wire/netting cage with fresh water and feed. Wire netting on all 4 sides is best. Our broodyTUBE works a treat as a holding pen if the hen is shut out of the house and kept in the wire run. Do not offer her any ‘creature comforts’ other than some protection from wind and wet weather would be kind. Leave her in the wire cage for a week till she Broody buff sussexhas got over her broodiness then place her back in the laying pen. Here at Appletons we keep many different breeds so as the girls go broody each week we remove them and place them in a communal pen with no creature comforts. Having new house mates upsets the pecking order and so their minds are taken off being broody and focused more on sorting out who is who in the sin bin! For the best results act quickly within 24 to 48 hours of her going broody to snap her out fast so you can get her back into production quickly. Broody hens are unproductive hens especially if left flitting away endless hours and days sometimes even weeks sitting on no eggs or your fresh eating eggs!

Broody heritage breed hens are are great way of producing the next generation (well that is what they are here for!) and don't forget hens do not lay forever so refeshing your flock every 2 to 3 years is a good idea.