Broodies on eggs hatching late Sept --any cold precautions?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bantyshanty, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    I have two broodies who went broody around Sept 1. Their eggs should hatch around the 21st, 15 in all may hatch. I have safe, enclosed brooding and run areas for them both, separated, but I'm wondering with so many chicks developing -bantam cochins- will they be able to cover them all to keep them warm? The nights will probably dip down to 40 the first couple weeks of life, maybe down to freezing by mid-October. Should I consider having brooding quarters inside for nights under 40 F, or no worries about temperatures?
    Days will be in the 60s& 70s mostly, with a few rainy days in the 50s I imagine. This is S.W. Pennsylvania.
    Should I consider leaving 4-5 with each hen & raising the rest in a brooder? I've got that down to a science. It's the mama hens I don't understand vry well.

    Does anyone have any wisdom to share? All my other chicks hatched out when it was much warmer, and there were no cold concerns. There also were far fewer chicks.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would let the mothers raise them My first broody hatched in late October. Granted, this is the south, but we have quite a few nights below freezing and days when it doesn't go over 50 in the winter. I was amazed to see the chicks running around in the cold. They'd peck around for a few minutes the run under mama to get warm, then peck around some more.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have had late fall hatched chicks with free range hens. Despite ground being frozen with occasional snow cover, chicks survived. Key, I think, for success was adequate food. Little buggers need lots of food to keep warm even under hens wings. We used hog feed with reasonable results. Weak ones much less likely to survive. Did not seem to grow as fast as spring and summer hatch.
  4. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Funny... I don't understand incubators and electric brooders very well but I find my hens have hatching and raising baby chicks down to a science. [​IMG] Mommas will do a fine job! [​IMG]

    eta... yes, have had Fall babies and they were tough little guys!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  5. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely let them raise them. But, all of them?

    My best -i.e. *saner*- broody hen has 10 eggs, and the more forgetful broody is on 5.
    Sometimes she wanders off them for hours, thus I reallocated some to the other hen.
    Can all those chicks keep warm under one hen body?

    Also, they were best friends before they went broody on the same day. How much fighting for territory or babies could they do?
  6. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I had a hen hatch out 4 chicks last Septemeber, I had them in a large rabbit hutch all of the sides had wire so I had to tarp it up and I put lots of shavings in there and of course a heat lamp - they did just fine [​IMG]

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