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cold brooding

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

what can you tell me about cold brooding, searching on google is not giving me much.

post #2 of 3
Never heard of it.
post #3 of 3

Doesn't sound like something I'd be doing!  Can you explain what you do know about it?


Don't think of chicks as little fluff balls that were born to live in a box with a heat lamp on them.  


Think instead of a Mama hen with her family.  What does she do with the eggs in her clutch?  She sits on them for weeks. She often pulls out her breast feathers so the eggs have more contact with her body and the heat from it - over 100 degrees.  Why? Because they need to be kept warm to develop and survive until hatching. 


Now, the eggs have hatched.  What does she do?  Well, she still sits on them to keep them warm because their down has no insulating properties.  They won't be able to survive without her warmth until their own feathers come in and they can regulate their own heat.  When they get a little too big to all fit under her, she hunches up over them and holds herself just up off them to keep that warmth going, and they also cuddle together for their combined warmth.  They don't live under there full time - they explore and run around their environment learning and growing.  But if they get chilly, they know right where to head.

Given how an egg needs Mom's heat to develop and hatch, and then the chick needs her heat and the warmth of nest mates, it's clear that any concept that says chicks can be brooded without some heat flies in the face of nature.  There are lots of ways to provide that heat in an environment where chicks are being raised artificially, without a broody hen, but the goal of all of those methods is the same - to provide what a hen would provide.

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