Posted by: Anonymous

"Non-setters" - 11/05/08 12:26 PM

I am getting ready to order my first chickens. In looking at "layer" breeds, the catalog describes several as "non-setters". What, exactly, does that mean? Do they lay all over the pasture, or will they occupy a nesting box? Thank you,
Clay confused
Posted by: Rhea Dean Carter

Re: "Non-setters" - 11/05/08 12:56 PM

A non-setter is one that does not tend to go broody (takes to the nest to hatch eggs). Most of the Mediterranean breeds (Leghorns, Minorcas, Andalusians, etc.) make good layers and will not go broody. However, they can be a bit flighty, so keep that in mind.
Posted by: Jrsygntbrdr1

Re: "Non-setters" - 11/05/08 02:26 PM

Um!!!!! Rhea Dean!!!!!

MY Minorca, Curly, goes broody EVERY year.
Posted by: Rhea Dean Carter

Re: "Non-setters" - 11/05/08 02:40 PM

Perhaps she's an exception to the rule.
Posted by: CJR

Re: "Non-setters" - 11/05/08 02:46 PM

All breeds have may have some variations...Our Dutch Bantams, as a breed, are generally GREAT layers and setters.(actually set twice a year and sometimes 3x) However, I have had in the past, several hens that never set. Just now, I have 2 hens, 3 years old that have never set. They take a rest now and then, then the eggs pour out again! And now and then we hear of nice Leghorns that are setting and hatching.

Because hens do not lay while they are in a setting mode, this is surprising to some newbies who just want eggs and wonder why there are suddenly no eggs from their hens who won't get off an empty nest?? You takes your choice! CJR
Posted by: Foehn

Re: "Non-setters" - 11/06/08 01:38 AM

My little Araucana bantam cross is looking likely to set for the second time in 5 or 6 weeks. I don't intend to raise chickens this year, so I will send her to "jail" for a few days to break up her broody cycle. In the meantime, Pickle the RIR, has been determined to set even with a spell in jail, which took ten days to set her on the road to forgetting about brooding. Then she persisted for another week, taking over the nest boxes, but has finally quit. She hasn't recommenced laying yet though.
Posted by: Uno

Re: "Non-setters" - 11/06/08 10:06 PM

Keep in mind that if you want hens to lay lots of eggs, they will look you in the eye and go decidedly broody, egg production will disappear. If you want hens that go broody to hatch babies, they will churn out eggs by the jillions and never go broody no matter how cushy and appealling you make the nest boxes. This is known as, 'Well Ain't That A Kick In The Pants', or for short, Murphy's Law. smile

Be aware that no matter what the hatchery tells you, a hen is a lady with her own mind and every now and then you get that renegade female who says no hatchery write up is going to tell ME what to do! Poultry is like the stock market, you can hedge your bets but really, you're taking your chances. Unlike the stock market, very few people have had their savings ruined by broody or not broody. So get a variety, some who set, some who lay and if all goes well, you should be quite pleased with the end result.

PS Being a non -setter has noting to do with where a hen lays her eggs. It has to do with her emotional attachment to said egg. Non-setters, non-broodies, lay it and forget it. They walk off into the sunset and leave that egg in the nest box for you to scramble or poach at your leisure. But broodies? That girl is in love with that egg and is determined to love it for 21 days at which time it quits being an egg and becomes a chick.(if you have roosters) You can take her egg away every morning and with a steely glare she will continue to sit there, like a lump, egg or no egg. And good luck changing her mind. It can be done and is a whole other topic. So broody versus non-broody is not about WHERE they lay, but about if they QUIT laying to make a family or NEVER decide to hatch a batch.
Posted by: Jrsygntbrdr1

Re: "Non-setters" - 11/07/08 09:09 AM

Ha ha ha "kick in the pants" LOL!

I got a Cochin to set for me. She's only done it once. The Minorca will set on that nest until she wastes away. You can take her off the nest, and she will run RIGHT back to it. Eventually we have to resort to extreme measures, but she's an excellent broody!