Breeds and brood­ies

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QI have a Partridge Wel­sum­mer hen and a Cream Leg­bar as well as a few other hens. I can’t un­der­stand why the Cream Leg­bar keeps go­ings broody while my Wel­sum­mer never does; she just keeps lay­ing eggs! Can you ex­plain a bit more about which hens go broody?

AChar­lotte Popescu says: Wel­sum­mers are classed as a light breed and light breeds are, on the whole, non-sit­ters, which means they will not be prone to brood­i­ness. Cream Leg­bars are a law unto them­selves and this is be­cause they are made up from three dif­fer­ent breeds: the Leghorn (a non-sit­ter), the barred Ply­mouth Rock and the Arau­cana. The Ply­mouth Rock is a heavy breed and there­fore a sit­ter. The Arau­cana is a light breed and there­fore you would ex­pect her to be a non-sit­ter; how­ever, she is an ex­cep­tion to the rule and Arau­canas are no­to­ri­ous for sit­ting but may not make the best moth­ers. I have found in the past that my Arau­cana crosses, though, def­i­nitely like to go broody and make won­der­ful mums. This means that Cream Leg­bars may or may not want to sit, de­pend­ing on whether they have in­her­ited more or less Leghorn char­ac­ter­is­tics. Heavy breeds that make very good brood­ies are the Wyan­dottes, Opring­tons, Brah­mas and the Marans to name a few.

A Cream Leg­bar

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