Jersy Giants brooding : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

In June of '99 I bought 25 RI Red "pullets" chicks. Figured I had a good chance of having at least 2 roosters in the batch. NOPE! August '99 I bought more chicks. 3 RI Red cockerel, 25 Barred Rocks (22+3), 12 Delawares (10+2), and 12 Jersey Giant chicks. (10+ 2).

The following spring, before we could get the nesting boxes made, we had one of the Rock hen go broody in a corner of the hen house. Had 12 eggs under her and she squawked and make a big fuss if you went near her. No mistaking that she was indeed broody. We quicky assembled some boxes and moved her clutch into the box that ended up located in the corner she had been using. Unfortunately, she abandoned the nest and we have never had another Rock go broody since.

However, near the end of September, a Jersey hen went broody. Because I had heard it was rare for one of the big breeds to go broody, I allowed her to brood though it was getting kinda late for chicks. She produced 4 chicks, of which she successfully raised all 4. I was greatly please to find she was a most excellent mama, equal to any of my Bantys. However, 1 week into her brooding period, one of the other hens decided "she" was going to take over the brooding! It was kind of a mess for a while, til the 2nd hen uppted and started her own clutch. She hatched 3 chicks and was NOT a good attentive mamma. When her chicks were apx 3 weeks old she flew up onto the roosting bar for the night, abandonning her young chicks on the floo. What was interesting was the 1st hen was drawn to the younger chicks, but by then hers were old enough to reach the roosting bar and she decided to stay with her chicks. I ended up having to take over the mothering of the 3 chicks.

Last year, 4 Jersey hens went broody. This time things got a little sticky. All of them wanted to hog the same nesting box. I have a broody hutch set up for the bantys, but these hens are soooooo big - that I tried to let them stay in their nesting boxes. Not a good idea! Had a terrible hatching rate. Out of 24 eggs, 1 hen ended up with 2 chicks, and 1 hen hatched 3 chicks about 2 weeks later) She was terribly mean to the other hen's older chicks. A 3d hen did "Auntie" duty to the 2 older chicks.

When the older chicks were old enough they began to use the roosting bar. At this same time, the 2nd hen abandoned her 3 younger chicks by flying up on the bar.(must have been that same hen that stunk at mothering the year before. But we did some banning so we have a better idea of who is who now!) The chicks tried to make the bar, but they were just too short in flight to make it. Then - a MOST interesting thing happened!!! The 2 older chicks took the 3 younger chicks "under their wing"!!! These 2 chicks took over the "mothering" of the younger chicks. They behaved exactly as though "they" were the "mamma" hen! They stayed with them in the nest, showed them what to eat, and gave them shelter when they were out in the pen. And they never returned to the roosting bar til the younger ones were able to do so also! (They turned out to be 3 hens and 2 roosters) I'm wondering if any one else has had a Jersey, or Rock, or any of the heavier breeds go broody???? Last year I had one of my bantys hatch out some Delawares. "Thought" I ended up with 2 hens and a roo. Nope! 2 roos and 1 hen. However - the roosters are beautiful! Unfortunately, I can't tell anymore which is the young hen from the other hens. Meant to ban her and never got around to it.

-- dottie - in E Shore MD (, March 18, 2002


I have had aracaunas for three years now and not one of them has ever gone broody. It's always my batams. I have one batam hen that will sit all summer even tho I collect eggs every morning. She's done that every year for the four years that I've had her. I let my batam hen raise three aracaunas. It didn't take long before the chicks were bigger than the mom but she raised them just fine. Was kind of funny to see the large chicks struggling to get under her wings.

-- cindy palmer (, March 18, 2002.

This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing it. We don't have a rooster, but I've only once seen my austrolorps act a little broody. Do you try to separate your breeds to keep the bloodlines? Any luck having heavy breeds sit on banty eggs/chicks?

-- Ann Markson (, March 18, 2002.

Cindy - I had to smile at your description of the chicks under the wing. What was also funny to watch was a little brown banty hen with big fat fluffy yellow chicks! She has her own separate housing (a large rabbit hutch) because she is to a certain dgree crippled. She's called Looney-Tunes because she stayed broody for very a month and became quite "fiesty" til I forced her out of the box and made her say out in the pen area of the hutch 2 days straight (let her back in for the night). It was the only way to break her out of being broody. For the next few weeks she still "growled" though. hehehe Told her she had lost her mind - thus - her name.

She went broody like that 2 yrs in a row. Last year, I felt soooooo bad for her, we went and gave her the Delaware eggs. And if she didn't turn out to be one of the best mammas ou could have asked for. But her chicks seemed to take great pleasure in sitting on her back! You's look out the door and always find 1 or 2 o them up there, or playing king of the mountain on her. Too funny.

To Ann - We do keep all of the breeds separate for that one reason, to keep the breeds pure. However, after we've re-located, I'd like to try for some red sex links. Maybe. Hubby says - enough! :-) As it is - we need to find homes for half the Delaware flock, and 1/3 the Jersey flock before we make the move. (1/3 is already spoken for) And - I'm already "priming" him for Dorkins once we moved. hehehe

I would imagine that a heavy breed could brood bantys, but I'm of the understanding that it is very rare to fine a broody hen in the heavy breeds. That's why I made my post - looking for others.

-- dottie - in E Shore MD (, March 18, 2002.

I don't know about Jersey Giants,but I have always heard that heavy breeds with feathers on their feet (e.g. Cochins and Brahmas) are pretty broody. I think as a general rule of thumb the breeds that were developed more for show are broodier than ones that were developed for eggs or meat. Also, this is unscientific, but in my experience raising chickens I have found that a black hen will often be more broody than another color. Could be coincidence, though.

-- Jeff (, March 19, 2002.

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