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Help! Broody hen incubating eggs at the end of September in the Northeast!

post #1 of 3
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Just found a pile of hidden eggs that mama Hen is sitting on. I think she has been sitting for a couple of weeks. We let our hens free range and thought when she didn't return to the coop that she was a tragedy of predators. i don't have the heart to take away half incubated eggs. This is her second batch this year. She disappeared once before and brought back 3 chicks. (I'm assuming it's the same one) 1 chick was taken mid summer and the other two are Roos. It is getting cool at night and I don't want these new hatchlings to freeze. She is obviously a good mother BUT, weather is not on her side. Do I take the babies and raise them myself? Do I take mother and babies? Or do you think I should trust her to keep them warm and safe from the others? I'm worried about the other chickens killing them. I appreciate any advice. I do have a heat lamp so I can either separate them in the coop or I can create a nursery in my garage. Oh, and how can I prevent her from going broody again? I definitely don't need that once the snow fly's. She is a black barred rock in case you were wondering and Dad is a Buff Orpington.
post #2 of 3

They'll be fine if a predator doesn't get them.

 

I had a hen go broody in November a couple years ago. It was in the 40s but by the time they hatched it was in the 20s. I put a heat lamp over the food and water - NOT over the nest. She'll keep them warm. I just wanted them to be comfortable enough to eat and drink.

It then dropped to 10 and I took the chicks inside for about a week. When I brought them back out, you wouldn't have believed the reunion. I guess she thought they were gone for good. She was delighted to see them.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 3

While not the best time of year to hatch a barred rock hen will be fine and so will the chicks as long as they escape the predator's. If it were me I'd make up a broody pen and move her and her eggs into it. She will be upset at first but that beats becoming a chicken dinner. As far as the weather don't worry about it and don't take the chicks she can keep them warm and will integrate  them into the flock for you besides they need to acclimate to the weather to get ready for winter.When they get cold they will run home to mom and be fine

 One bantam cochin I had quite often would  go broody in winter and the last batch she raised white leghorns in Jan. we do have milder winters than you  but some nights were in the single digits and 1 of those girls is free ranging in the yard right now.

If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Help! Broody hen incubating eggs at the end of September in the Northeast!