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A broody hen??? in October

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. K, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I spent the day cleaning out the coop and run. Tomorrow will set up the "sun room". Lots of dry bedding down, rearranged the roosts. And put eggs under my broody hen....... and yeah, I know it is October. However, I have read that it can be done, and she is very experienced. I think this will be her 5th clutch.

    I love this hobby, it is always fun and interesting.

    Mrs K
     
  2. JeanR

    JeanR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to hatch year around, whenever a hen set and I had eggs that I wanted to hatch. Used to be able to ship; young birds, weather permitting, almost year around. However, I brought a cage with the setting hen and chicks hatched into my warm basement until they were well feathered. AND with zero and below zero weather in my winters. I use radiator heaters to keep my houses above freezing during the coldest weather--no frozen combs EVER, nor frozen water. And have lots of plugin places in my poultry houses, for lights in each pen, if needed. (NO HEAT LAMPS EVER!!!!!!) A 75W long life bulb, lowered over chicks, is plenty of heat--never too warm! Good luck with those winter babies!!
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If you are rearing outside then expect some interesting weather related challenges. We are experiencing a cold snap and chicks approaching 3 weeks are stealing heat every chance they get from sun. Food items od interest also changing. Currently insects are not limiting so the little ones develop a hankering for scratch.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    The plan is to have her keep them with the flock, that is the way I like to do it. And often times we have very pleasant October and November days (as I type this, it is the year anniversary of one of the worst blizzards to hit western SD) although much cooler nights.

    But in a real bad case, I could bring them into the garage.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I will be setting up an elevated coop in near house to contain a late hatched brood. Hen will be kept with them through about 8 weeks and they will be encouraged to roost communally in a box stuffed with straw well past age they would normally roost up. Brood is represented by 8 chicks so box to be sized accordingly. Once chicks ready to roost on pole I will still be concerned about wind breaks as we will likely experience 0 F nights by then. I will also set them up with hay to stand on in a dry location that gets direct sun early in morning and late in day. Water will be swapped out twice daily. Since small the usual soaked oats approach for meeting water needs will not be good enough so I may cheat by providing crushed ice. If crushed ice causes a decreased interest in liquid water when offered, then crushed ice will be considered adequate.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I set up a large plexiglass sunporch for the hens in the winter. They get outside more with it in the run. I have noticed in the past, my broody hen in July, will be out in the run with her chicks, with the flock but separate. So looking through some old treasures (junk), I have found a box and old window. I think I will set that up out in the run, when the chicks hatch.

    It will be partially open on the east and west side, as the big one for flock. But it is rather surprising how much warmer it is under that clear shield out of the wind and in the sun.

    Mrs K
     
  7. The Hen

    The Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    I also have a Miss Broody Butt right now. I bought 6 eggs and put them under her on Tuesday evening. I have never done this before and wondering if she, the eggs, and chicks will be ok outside in the coop. I have set up a space for her under the nesting boxes that is pry 8-10 feet long by 3 feet wide. Plenty of room, feed, and water. I don't think she gets up during the day at least, that's what it looks to me so when I get home from work I take her off the eggs and put her outside for about 30 minutes and also feed her. Will the chicks be ok after they hatch? We live in Michigan so it's cold. right now it's like 32 at 10:10 pm. Hope they all hatch. Can't wait for when it happens.
     
  8. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just had chicks hatch on Tuesday, they are with mom but in a brooder with a light and in a coop. I will not take any chances of them freezing. I am in Wisconsin and we already have snow and blustery cold wind. If my coop was heated I would hatch year round, I have 2 more broodies right now but won't allow them to sit, just too cold. I have been lucky when my broody gets off the nest to eat, bathe, and poo one of the other girls hop right on. It's not unusual for 3 hens to sit on one batch of eggs all at the same time. My thought on winter hatching is of your conditions are right go ahead but if your coop isn't heated that will take alot out of your hen. With the broody trying to keep eggs warm, eat, and do all the other things chickens plus they always loose a bit of weight during sitting time, I think it's too much stress on a bird. Just my opinion. Good luck on your decisions to winter hatch.
     
  9. The Hen

    The Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    I dont know if she gets off her eggs or not during the day so when I get home from work I take her off them for about 15 min or so. She eats, fluffs etc. Then I put her back in and she goes right back to them. I hate to bring her in due to her possibly getting sick when she goes back out. I guess I will wait and see and hopefully they hatch.
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Mine hatched, we have had beautiful weather. The broody and chicks are in with the flock. I had 100% hatch, but one was dead in the nest, and two have died in the first couple of days. The remaining five are thriving. If you go with nature, there is often some death loss.

    Cooler and windier yesterday and today, but so far, water is not an issue, was frozen one day in the morning, but I got liquid water out there early.

    I don't have electricity to my coop, so am going to try to rig up a black rubber bucket with nipples, can chicks learn to drink out of the nipples? I think on sunny days, that should keep the water liquid even in pretty cold weather.

    Out to butcher two roosters today. That and a coyote attack, should get me a small enough flock to be comfortable in my set up for the dark days of winter. Last night, the broody hen was in the coop before 5:00 pm daylight savings time. That is a long night.

    Mrs K
     

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