A few questions for broody hen experts!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JessicaGrant, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. JessicaGrant

    JessicaGrant Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Western Mass
    My seven month old went broody last week and I just stuck a dozen eggs (thanks, redhen!) under her. Right now she is in one of two nests I have in the coop. It is a small coop so I can't really separate her from the 4 others without moving her out of the coop (and I dont' know where that would be...in the house in a brooder, maybe?)

    My main concern is that it is February and I live in Massachusetts. If all goes well I will have chicks on March 6 and it will still be really cold here. Will the mom keep her babies warm in the coop or should I plan on moving them to a brooder? If I move them, would I bring the mom? I have a heat lamp and could put it in the coop but I am worried about fire.

    Also, will I need to protect the babies from the other hens if they are all together or will the mom do that?

  2. ghulst

    ghulst Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    It is best to set them away from any other chickens. You will have much better luck. You don't need to worry about the temp because the hen will take care of the chicks and yes they should not be running with other chickens. I feel that you are start to raise chicks before you are ready. Just my 2 cents for what it is worth. I have hatch chicks under hens for 50 years.
  3. Quote:ghulst is right. Seperate her from the other hens. They will sometimes crowd in and deposit fresh eggs in the nest and thereby crowd out the original eggs. A poor hatch will result. Also, the hen needs privacy, not only while setting, but when the chicks hatch. They(she) should be alone from now until the brood is feathered. Like ghulst, I`ve been hen hatching chicks for 52 years.
  4. JessicaGrant

    JessicaGrant Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Western Mass
    OK, thanks! You are right...I am starting this before I am ready but my hen is ready and I am scrambling to catch up.
  5. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Songster

    Nov 7, 2007
    Last may I had a broody hatch out some adpoted eggs ...I asked the same questions ....I also have a small coop....I ended up putting a small motified wire dog cage over her and supplied food and water and treats.....So the other girls woudnt bother her and then when the chicks hatched and were running around I placed Mom and the chicks in a much bigger wire dog crate and place wood/carboard up the sides half way so mom could see out and the other hens could see in ...and they couldnt eat the feed....I also placed ALOT of newspaper flat on the bottom for easy clean ups .....When the chicks started jumping through the wire sides and mom wasnt able to protect them from inside the cage.... I booted all the older hens out of the coop and let mom and the babys go in the coop for most of the day and then I let the whole flock together...mom protected them...Good Luck...
  6. Ellie_NY_chick

    Ellie_NY_chick Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Finger Lakes, NY
    We all have to start somewhere, right ? This is how we learn.

    Best of luck to you Jessica! The momma hen will do a lot for you. I had a similar situation, but I opted to bring the babies in the house after a day or two under their mother. When they feathered out, I brought them back out. They all did fine.

    We've also had a heat lamp in the coop all winter. We have it well away from the bedding, and it's worked great. You have to watch it because when it got a little warmer last week it got really hot in the coop, so now we have it on a timer. We're in upstate NY, so our climates are similar.

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