Luckiest Buff Orpington, Ever

Back in 2011 I added about a dozen chicks to my flock, three of which were Buff Orpingtons. Buff Orpingtons can make excellent school visit hens – they’re pretty and docile. My good storytime hens were retiring, and I was hoping that there’d be a nice one in this group. However, a good-natured Buff Orpington turns into a huffy chickzilla when she goes broody, and BOs are known for going broody, so I knew that I was taking a risk. Still, the children that I meet on school visits love meeting a golden hen. It was worth getting a couple BO chicks. Of the three, Amber, Beryl and Topaz, one was just what I’d hoped for. Amber has become my assistant when I do programs. The other two… well… they were broodies. They stayed in their nesting boxes, looking grumpy. They didn’t lay eggs. Put them in an anti-broody coop, and they’d snap out of it, but only for a couple of days. I’d had it with them.

Luckily, one of my readers was looking to add a couple of Buff Orpingtons to her flock. She didn’t care that Beryl and Topaz were broody. Beryl was a particularly beautiful hen. Kim took the two home with her. Periodically, I’ve heard about how nicely they’ve settled in with her backyard flock.

Last month, Kim put the perennially broody Beryl into a separate pen and gave her two fertile eggs. One hatched. Then, Kim tucked a few day-old chicks under Beryl. She accepted them, too. Beryl is the perfect mamma hen. She landed in the best, ever home. Lucky, lucky girl.

beryl and chicks


  1. What a happy ending. And a beautiful springtime picture. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Love it! So glad she’s found her perfect spot…with a little help from her friends!

  3. Well….I have a broody BO, she has laid very few eggs. This is her 4th season and she started out laying very well for the first time ever and I thought she was done being broody….she has been setting for 2 months now, I guess she gets off and eats something but I never see her. I threaten her every morning that I will have to make soup out of her but it doesn’t seem to help:)

  4. One of my 2 BO’s is broody right now, and sits on the nest all day even with no egg. Her Hyde personality has emerged. I make her get off the nest in the afternoon for a while. I think broody hens actually act a little psycho during this time.

  5. My husband says its blondes that go broody, I have had 3 different sets of hens and each time it has been the blonde that has gone broody. The first was a ISA brown (blonde rather than brown), the second a Buff Orpington (no surprise there), the third a Buff Sussex so maybe he’s right. I love a happy ending, great story and lovely picture, cute chicks do you know what breed ? :)

  6. Forgot to say poor Phoebe’s looks like she fed up with your weather and wants her snow tunnel back !!

  7. Also is Goat Cam down or is it my end had no picture for 2 days ?

  8. I have BO (4 years old) never went broody.

    I have an Easter Egger that went broody and thought this won’t last a week. She is now the proud mamma of two chicks she hatched.

    You never know.

  9. Good luck Beryl. I wonder if she will look after the chicks for just three weeks or go for the whole eight weeks. Or unlike some very very broody hens still care for their offspring up till that offspring starts to lay eggs of her own. Looks like is mothering three easter egger chicks and one Rhode Island Red, hopefully they were sexed chicks and the that Beryl did hatch will be a girl and not a rooster.

  10. how sweet, I have been reading about this breed of hen. I think I want one

  11. Good eyes Kit! I purchased three Auracana chicks from my local Agway, and the hatched chick came from a blue/green egg given to me by a friend who has a very large flock. I am hoping that it is a hen as well. I’ve learned quite a lot in the past week, but one thing I know for sure is that it’s less work and more fun to let a broody hen raise chicks for you!

  12. Totally off topic- just though you might like to know… I was complaining about how bad the ticks were this year and how glad I was when Ryder got old enough to treat. Guess what I found out? All that snow that stayed on the ground actually insulated the ticks from the cold so more of them survived the winter. GAH!!!

  13. When my BO went broody last year, I got a clutch of fertilized eggs for her to hatch. I ended up with six chicks (mostly roosters unfortunately), but Bee, the BO, was a fantastic mother hen. It was a great experience and it was nice to see her motherly instinct. She went broody again last summer but snapped out of it by being shooed off the nesting box for about a week. She hasn’t been broody since.

      • When she was ready to go back to the coop after raising the chicks, it was not easy for her. But she did go broody again early summer so I was worried about having to deal with the broody BO by nature. I’m on the west coast though and our spring came a good 1.5 to 2 months early and that was after an incredibly mild winter (sorry! I’d go to your cams and see all the snow!) so I’m not sure if that is messing up the hens’ cycle or not.

  14. Beautiful picture. I have a broody RIR hen. I gave her fertile eggs and now she has 11 chicks she is raising. They are one week old today. It’s the coolest experience watching her interact with her babies. I will keep some of the girls and get rid of the boys.

  15. I might be part buff orporington!! My hair is same color, I am usually good natured, and seldom moody.

  16. We’ve done the same with our BO’s.. I figured we’d use her broodness to our advantage! Such sweet hens, I’d never have a flock without one, my favorite breed.