Brooding in January?? Looking for some advice

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zestokasis, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. zestokasis

    zestokasis Out Of The Brooder

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    Yesterday while collecting eggs I noticed that one of my hens seemed to be trying to go broody, I wasn't sure because this hen was just born early last spring and I don't know how old a chicken normally is before they do this. Well today I no longer have any doubts about what she is trying to do, I don't have a problem with this but do have some questions for anyone who might know the answers.

    1. Is it normal for a hen this age to go broody already?
    2. Is it normal for a hen to go broody in January? I live in Ohio and my chickens aren't on any type of light system.
    3. What are the chances that she'll be able to hatch the eggs since we are in the middle of winter?

    All replies will be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some breeds tend to be broody more often than others. I have a little bantam EE that has gone broody twice and she is just about a year and a half old; first time she was about 10 months. Most recently in late November she went broody for a few days then started to molt. It is possible for her to hatch the eggs even in the winter. I have no clue what the odds would be. Light doesn't typically affect broodiness - at least not that I'm aware of; just egg production.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes to the first two -- that's the easy part. I've had a hen raise chicks in February with night temps below freezing and days around 45. This was in an unheated, uninsulated, actually pretty "airish" coop. But we don't get snow; you can barely call what we get winter (I was raised near Chicago. ) People up north do sometimes let them hatch in cold weather, though others prefer to wait.

    Here's a long thread full of experiences with broodies:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ody-hen-hatch-a-long-and-informational-thread
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes and yes. I've had pullets go broody as young as 7 months old. As for her hatching in cold weather, as long as you don't give her too many eggs, she should be fine keeping the chicks warm until they feather out.

    I'd love to have a broody right now - setting eggs in the bator today. But they never go broody when you want them to.
     
  5. zestokasis

    zestokasis Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2012
    Thanks for the replies and thanks flockwatcher for the link. I have decided that if she can hatch out the chicks I'll go ahead and bring them inside to raise until they can return back outside with the rest of the flock.
     
  6. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    We got our first birds Spring of 2012 and have had 3 go broody so far. We gave each of them a clutch ... the last batch just hatched this weekend (first week of January 2013).
     
  7. zestokasis

    zestokasis Out Of The Brooder

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    I know that it takes 21 days for the eggs to hatch but when does the actual countdown begin? I'm thinking that I would like to put some eggs from my other chickens under her but don't know how long I can wait to do this?
     
  8. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    Probably best to start with all the eggs you want to hatch going under the hen on the same day. You can let her sit on something while you gather the clutch you want her to brood ... handle and store those properly while you gather enough ... then swap out the eggs she already has with the ones you want her to hatch. Dispose of the "placeholder" eggs responsibly. The broody chicken will sit on the eggs until they hatch ... one of ours sat on duck eggs for the full 28 days, one week longer than chicken eggs need to brood, and we started her with those eggs a few days after she went broody. I'm pretty sure she'd have sat there for a good long time if nothing ever hatched. The poor darling.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. zestokasis

    zestokasis Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome! and thanks again everybody for the education and all the great advice.
     

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