So, how do you do this without them freezing? I live in central NH.
you betcha! instead of watching and waiting all summer for eggs!
Or until next Christmas... We hatched three pullets around Easter, one started laying at around 18 weeks, but the two others only just now started laying this weekend. Worth the wait though...
The ones on the right are from the new layers (hatched from the olive layer's eggs). The first layer of the three is in a hawk attack induced molt at the moment, but she lays light pink eggs.
I live in Finland, but the southern parts. And we had one of the mildest winters in a long time. The coldest we got was around -20C. Lost the sole female chick of the batch then, but she was suicidal. Squeezed through a crack and couldn't get back to mommy, and by the time we found her, she was so cold that we couldn't bring her back. But my point is, mama hen is pretty good at keeping her little ones warm. Of course, it requires a broody.
Nice eggs to set!
Set all the eggs!
We have temps in the minus 20-30 C over the winter here as well. My crew usually end up laying in one or two nesting boxes during cold weather like that, and the last one usually sits tight and keeps them warm until I am able to collect. rarely have frozen eggs, they are sometimes really cool, but not frozen. I have hatched from these last year with good success.