The 4 Best Broody Chicken Breeds

best broody chicken breeds

The best way to have a sustainable flock is to get your chickens to make more chickens! And the best way to achieve that is by getting the broodiest chicken breeds to act out as moms. These broody chickens will make excellent regular moms, sitting on eggs and raising chicks, even if they aren’t theirs!

By mixing these breeds with breeds that are egg-laying machines you’ll be able to get a great balance between raising chicks and getting constant eggs.

Silkies – The Broodiest Hen

Silkies are fluffy and are great broody chickens

These adorable fluff balls are incredibly friendly and curious. Considered the “lap dog” version of a chicken, Silkies are docile and make great pets for kids. They’re also considered indisputably the best broody chicken breed you can get.

Silkies will gladly sit on eggs that aren’t theirs and make excellent mothers. Since they only lay less than 100 medium eggs per year they’re kept mostly for their mother capabilities -and for their gorgeous personalities!

Cochins – Excellent Mothers

cochin being a great mom to her chicks

Cochins seem larger than they are because of their fluffy feathers. They tend to be very docile and easy to handle. They’re even hardier for winter than Silkies, although during the winter they tend to not care of their chicks as well.

Cochins are excellent broody chickens that will hatch and take care of baby chicks. They don’t care who’s the real mom of their babies, they’ll take care of them as if they were their own.

Brahmas – Great For Winter!

brahmas are gentle hen moms

We’ve talked about this striking gentle giant before, Brahmas are an incredible sight. Despite their size, they don’t require a lot of space since they’re not natural foragers.

If you want to start a sustainable flock in the northern regions, this broody breed is the one you need. They’re incredibly winter-hardy and will even keep laying during the colder months!

Old English Game – Protective Moms

a great broody chicken breed

This classic breed is just like the one grandpa used to have. The Old English breed came from breeds that were used for cockfighting, which is why it’s a breed that’s recommended to more experienced keepers.

Because of their roots they’re best if kept away from more docile breeds, like the Buff Orpington, since they can be a bit bossy and territorial. They also need a lot of space to explore and move around. However their personality is the reason why the Old English Game is a great broody bird if you free-range your chickens. Remember, chicks are an easy target for predators. With an aggressively protective mother like this one, you can let them explore all you want knowing that the hens are keeping their chicks safe.

Did we mention your favorite? Which is the best chicken mom you’ve ever had? Share your experiences below!


18 thoughts on “The 4 Best Broody Chicken Breeds

  1. Susanne Miller-Urban says:

    We have had chicks reared by our Silver Gray Dorking, but it’s our Speckled Sussex hens that sneak away and hatch eggs for us under the porch or in the woods. Hens are each individuals, though. We had a barnevelder go broody (though most sites list them as non-broody) and we’ve never had any of our Brahmas or Australorps go broody, though we tried to encourage them.

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  3. David in the Northern Catskills says:

    I have a Golden Comet that hatched out 8 of my Ancona Ducks. She still checks on them even though they are twice her size now. She is 6 years old and stopped laying last Fall but after 5 years of 1 egg a day and sitting on 8 duck eggs for 28 days she has her own coop and is “retired.” She follows me around everywhere. Sally Two Toes earned her retirement. She gets scrambled eggs for breakfast every day and gets to sleep on the kitchen floor when it’s below zero with howling winds. My other broody hen is a Speckled Sussex. I free range Golden Comets and Cinnamon Queens and keep two roosters. One of each breed. I only have one Speckled Sussex left. My primary focus is ducks and geese but run around 30 chickens because not everyone likes duck eggs. I also use an incubator for my geese.

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  5. Izabella says:

    I love this article about the various broody moms.
    Does anyone have a Brahma rooster? What is his personality? I am looking for a quiet type of a rooster.
    Thank you

    • kathy sacksteder says:

      There’s nothing quiet about brahma roosters! We had a pair of buff brahma bantam (Bonnie and Clyde), and all it took to get Clyde crowing his fool head off was a badly mimicked crow from one of us. Luckily, we lived where that didn’t matter. I would love to have a trio of full sized Brahmas, or at least another pair of the bantams version. They’re cool birds. I have Seramas now. They top out at about a pound (males). They still crow a lot, but at least because of their size, they aren’t particularly loud.

    • Deirdre O’Dell says:

      Yes I have a Dark Brahma rooster. Big healthy bird quiet tempered with other chickens and gentle with people and children. Recommend them

  6. Monika Pelly says:

    The best broody mom I have is part Orpington and part Cubalaya. Docile to humans. Protective of chicks against others. Takes in other chicks. And beautiful at the same time. ☺️

  7. David in NY says:

    Ultimately, the best broody hen is the one that hatches and raises the chicks. We are infested with predators, and any bird not locked up at night is a goner. Still, once a leghorn showed up with a clutch of chicks. She had made a nest somewhere in the yard and successfully brought off the chicks. At that point I locked her and her family up, since I knew her luck couldn’t last forever.

  8. Joe says:

    Game hens are by far the best at protection and caring. I have my share of variety but dare you go near any game hens brood and if you do please cover your eyes as they will go for them. I have lost some good ones protecting against dogs. They have little fear and also have the most intelligence.

  9. Elena says:

    Mama Dove was an Old English and the best broodie I have ever had. She put the fear of chickens into my cats, and I saw her fight off a hawk bigger than herself to protect her chicks.

  10. eileen says:

    I have a part silkie, and she will get broody as soon as her chicks get independent. During really hot months I have tried to discourage her by taking out the eggs, and she gets her feathers ruffled and sits in an empty nest! Has couple chicks now . She rules the roost. So sweet and easy to handle.

  11. Dusty Webb says:

    Coyotes got all our buffs, 1 by 1. I needed a few fighters in there. I had 2 roosters, a game and a langshan, but they got picked off too. I’ll try some of your suggestions

  12. Elena says:

    I have three of these breeds and none of them went broody this year. Meanwhile my seramas were going broody one after the other non-stop the whole winter.

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