BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Incubating & Hatching Eggs › Broody hen on eggs in winter, what to do?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Broody hen on eggs in winter, what to do?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
in desperate need of advice, first time chicken owner. I have 5 chickens.
1 serama rooster
1 old English game bantam
1 buff Orpington
2 Rhode Island reds
It's winter and my chickens are spending all their time in the coop, being confined so closely the Reds began attacking my bantam, so I set her up a shelf in the top of the coop with her own nesting box food and water just to make sure she has a safe spot and is getting food and water. I noticed she was staying up in her loft more than usual and thought the Reds were just getting more aggressive. Finally I wrestled her out of her nesting box fearing she was sick or Injured to find her on 8 fertilized eggs! If I would of know she was broody I would of tried to break her but now it seems I have chicks on the way. I'm at a loss of what to do as its winter and gets well below freezing where I live. I know I have to move her out of the coop, she will not be able to protect her chicks from the other hens.
Advice on how to go about moving her and what to do when the chicks hatch?
Should I build a makeshift coop for just mom and chicks?
Should I make a brooder and bring them inside?
Should I just remove the two reds?
post #2 of 6

Those are all good options. Without knowing your setup and available space, I can't give you the best option.

Also, where do you live? Winter broodies in Minnesota is much different than winter setters in Texas.

I have a hen that just went broody yesterday and I would have broken her but it is unseasonably warm now and likely for the next month. I've had hens set in the fall and raise chicks well below freezing with no problems.

 

Why can't the birds go out of the coop? Having RIRs closely confined with almost any other breed can lead to problems.

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

Reply

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

Reply
post #3 of 6

We actually converted a dog kennel to a small coop for hen and chicks when we needed to separate.  It worked quite well.  I have also found RIR to be too aggressive with my other birds and no longer breed them.  ​

post #4 of 6

If I were you, since you've already put Mama in a relatively safe spot for the time being, keep an eye on everyone, but leave her & eggs alone for now. The aggression of the other birds may be from being confined and if at all possible, let them out even if only for an hour or two before roost time. It'll give them something to do besides pecking each other.

I wouldn't move the hen & eggs until after they hatch or she may abandon the eggs if moved before hatch. Once there is chicks for her to look after, she'll stay put. When you do move the Mama & babies, do it at night when she's asleep. You'll have less injuries that way. To you, not the birds. The instincts of a Mama with babies will take over. Some broodies fail miserably, but more often than not, she'll know what to do & nature will take care of itself, regardless of the weather. Just be sure the makeshift brooder you move them too offers some protection from the elements & predators.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenCanoe View Post

Those are all good options. Without knowing your setup and available space, I can't give you the best option.
Also, where do you live? Winter broodies in Minnesota is much different than winter setters in Texas.
I have a hen that just went broody yesterday and I would have broken her but it is unseasonably warm now and likely for the next month. I've had hens set in the fall and raise chicks well below freezing with no problems.

Why can't the birds go out of the coop? Having RIRs closely confined with almost any other breed can lead to problems.


They have a run they can go into and I open the doors for them when the weathers nice but they refuse to leave because of the snow on the ground. The coop is one of those ol red barn set ups you can buy that we've modified and made a bit bigger. And I'm located in Northern California, Sierra Nevada mountain range area so it does get cold and it does snow. (I find most people think Sacramento when I say Northern California)
post #6 of 6

Spread straw over the snow and they'll walk about on it.

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

Reply

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

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Incubating & Hatching Eggs
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Incubating & Hatching Eggs › Broody hen on eggs in winter, what to do?