Top 12 Broody Chicken Breeds

Broody Chicken Breeds

A broody chicken, or broodiness, is a female chicken that lays eggs. And gives them the warmth of her body, nurturing them until they hatch.

It’s an instinctual behavior that encourages chicks to grow at the best rate possible. 

Since it reduces the chance that predators eat them. Suppose you want to raise chickens but don’t have an incubator. This can be an invaluable trait to develop in your flock.

And that way, you’ll know you’re raising healthy chickens every time one hatches. Below are the top broody chicken breeds.

Broody Chicken Breeds

1. Brahma

Buff Brahma Bantams
Image from

Brahmas are a large, Asiatic breed of chicken known for their docile and friendly dispositions.

They make great mothers and often go broody even when not allowed to sit on eggs. If you’re looking for reliable broody chicken breeds, Brahmas are a great choice.

2. Orpington

by Pete Cooper is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Orpingtons are a British breed of chicken known for their calm dispositions and mothering instincts.

They make excellent mothers and often go broody even when not allowed to sit on eggs.

If you’re looking for reliable broody chicken breeds, Orpingtons are a great choice.

Moreso, the Orpington is a dual-purpose bird, meaning it can be used for both egg production and meat production. The average Orpington lays around 200 eggs per year. 

But where this breed shines is its broodiness. The Orpington is an excellent mother and will go broody often

3. Sussex

Speckled Sussex - Friendliest Chicken Breeds
by Suzies Farm is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Sussex is a dual-purpose chicken that can be used for both egg and meat production. But this isn’t the only reason Sussex is an excellent addition to your flock.

However, Sussex is also known to be an excellent mother, which makes her the perfect choice if you’re looking for broody chicken breeds.

Here are some of the other reasons Sussex makes a great brood hen. 

  1. The Sussex is calm and docile, making her easy to handle. 
  2. Sussex hens are good layers, producing up to 200 eggs per year. 
  3. They’re also good foragers, so they’ll help keep your yard free of pests.

4. Chantecler

by Cross Duck is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Chantecler is a Canadian breed that is cold, hardy, and good at foraging. This breed is also known for being excellent mothers.

The Chantecler is a dual-purpose bird used for meat and eggs. 

However, this breed is not as common as some of the others on this list. But it is an excellent choice if you are looking for a broody chicken breed. 

5. Australorp

Australorp - Friendliest Chicken Breeds
by Jean is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Australorp is an Australian breed that is known for being good mothers. They are calm and gentle, making them great around children.

However, Australorps will go broody often and sit on their eggs until they hatch. This breed is a good choice if you want chickens that will mother their young.

6. Silkie

Silkie Chicken
by sandyseek is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Silkies are a small breed of chicken that originates from Asia. They are well known for their fluffy feathers, which give them a silky appearance.

Silkies are also known for being broody, meaning they will sit on a nest of eggs and hatch them. 

Therefore, this makes them great mothers and excellent candidates for backyard flocks.

Here are the four reasons why silkies make great broodies: 

  1. They are gentle and loving birds that make great mothers. 
  2. Silkies are smaller than most other breeds of chickens, making them easier to manage when sitting on a nest of eggs. 
  3. Silkies need less space to lay eggs. So it is easier to keep track of who is brooding at any given time 
  4. Silkies are typically not aggressive, so they won’t get in anyone’s way while they’re caring for their brood

7. Cubalaya

Cubalaya Chickens
by dalemcneill is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Cubalaya is a popular choice for those looking for broody chicken breeds.

This bird is known to protect its young and will go to great lengths to keep them safe. While the Cubalaya isn’t the best layer, it more than makes up for it in its broodiness. 

8. Cochin

Cochin Bantam Chickens - Miniature Chicken Breeds
by radellaf is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cochins are another excellent choice when it comes to choosing broody chicken breeds.

These birds are incredibly nurturing and often sit on eggs that aren’t theirs. Cochins make great mothers and are known for being very gentle with their chicks.

9. Dorking

by podchef is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Dorking chickens are a heritage breed known for their docile and friendly nature.

They make extraordinary backyard chickens and are excellent layers of brown eggs. They also tend to go broody often, making them great mothers.

Therefore, if you’re looking for broody chicken breeds to add to your flock, Dorking chickens are a great choice.

10. Dominique

by Paul Williams is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

If you’re looking for a chicken that will go broody often, the Dominique is a good choice.

This heritage breed is known for its maternal instincts and will happily sit on a nest of eggs.

The Dominique is an active bird and does well in free-range situations.

It’s also one of the quieter broody chicken breeds. So if you’re looking for peace in your backyard flock, this may be the breed.

11. Maran

by soapydishwater is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Marans is a French breed of chicken known for its dark chocolate brown eggs.

The Marans were initially bred in the town of Marans, in the Charente-Maritime department of southwestern France.

The Marans were introduced into Great Britain in the 1930s and the United States in the 1940s. The Marans is a dual-purpose breed, raised for meat and eggs and kept as a pet.

12. Icelandic

icelandic chickens
Image from

Icelandics are a small, docile breed that is known for being excellent mothers.

They are also one of the longest-living chicken breeds, with many hens over ten years old.

Therefore, if you’re looking for broody chicken breeds that will sit on your eggs and raise your chicks. Then Icelandic is a great choice.


There you have it, and the 15 broody chicken breeds are perfect for your backyard flock.

Suppose you want to add a broody hen or two to your community. Any of these breeds would make a great addition. 

And if you’re not looking for a broody hen, that’s okay too. There are plenty of other great broody chicken breeds out there that don’t go into broodiness.

Can You Force a Hen to Go, Broody?

You can’t force a hen to go, broody. But certain breeds are more likely to go broody than others.

How Many Eggs Can a Broody Hen Sit on?

A broody hen can sit on a clutch of eggs that totals her body weight plus 25%. So, if she weighs 4 pounds, she could theoretically sit on five eggs. However, most hens will only sit on a smaller number of eggs then, as it is more comfortable and easier to keep them warm.

Do All Hens Go, Broody?

All hens can go broody, but not all of them will. Some breeds are more prone to broody than others if you want to add a broody hen (or two) to your flock.

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