A Bantam hen just went broody!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rosawoodsii, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of weeks ago I moved my RR hens from the front coop to the back coop so all my chickens could (theoretically) be together. I have one bantam hen that is wild, and she isn't contained with the others. For a few days the only egg I got was from her, but then the egg stopped appearing, so I didn't think much of it. I saw her around and just figured she has no intention of being cooped up.

    Last night I went into the stall where I keep some second crop hay for my milk goats, grabbed a bale of hay, and noticed a lump of feathered something on the bottom layer of bales. It's my bantam, keeping perfectly still, and she's setting eggs. I don't know how I missed the nest before, as it's right out in the open, except that it's usually night time when I fill the feeders and I probably didn't pay much attention to anything but hay.

    It's 2 degrees F this morning, and December isn't even the coldest month here (Maine). I'm thinking the hen is confused, and the chicks are going to die if they even hatch out. Should I remove the eggs and put her back in with the other chickens? Or should I just let her continue setting? More bantams I don't need, and I don't have anything else to hatch out right now--and it does seem the wrong time to try anyway. I'm not bringing chicks into my house, with or without a hen. I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions?
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like she has found a safe warm place to set. If she can keep them warm enough to hatch, she can keep the chicks warm after hatch. So if you want to let her just go ahead and do her thing, it sounds like she knows what she's doing. Maybe you can sell or give away the babies after she raises them. I never get tired of broody hens because i think it's all so beautiful to watch them raise their young.
     
  3. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How cute! But, on a more serious note I probably wouldn't let her hatch them. I live in North Western PA. Not exactly Maine, but cold enough. I had wild hens hatch out chicks before in the winter, and it never ended well. The chicks just couldn't handle the weather. If you want the chicks to live you are going to have to provide more heat then just momma hen.
    (I love when my girls go broody, but only allow them to set during warmer months. It is better for the birds health, and cheaper as well)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  4. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    It looks like she's solving the problem all by herself. When I went into the barn late this morning, the eggs were unattended and COLD. I took them all in and left a bantam size wooden egg in the nest. Late afternoon, hen was back, but in a spot next to the previous nest. Three eggs under her, so apparently other hens are laying in the same spot. Early evening, she was back on the original nest, so I took the now-cold three eggs into the house, then moved hen and wooden egg to a different, enclosed location. I have more hens to catch tomorrow, if I can find them on the nest.

    I'm decideed. No broods raised this time of year.
     

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