Brooding in winter?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by meredithrocks2006, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. meredithrocks2006

    meredithrocks2006 In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    My hen had recently decided to go broody, but its very cold at night now, here in northern Michigan. What I'm wondering is.. Will the eggs get too cold when she gets up to eat? It gets into the low teens at night and 20°-30° during the day. Im not even sure how many eggs shes sitting on, as she refuses to let new stick my hand under her to see. She starts clucking/ "growling" loudly and tries to peck me to death when I try to put my hand under her. I dont want to freak her out too much and have her risk breaking the eggs. So, I guess back to my question, will her eggs get ti cold when she gets off them to eat with such low temperatures?

  2. curious1969

    curious1969 Songster

    Apr 17, 2011
    Northwest Montana
    I cannot say with 100% certainty that all will be fine, but in my experience with broodies they seem to know what they can safely get away with. I also had a broody who changed nests and left an egg about 10 days in (In late October in Montana...brrrr), I didn't find it until the next morning and thought it was dead (as it was ice cold) no movement in the egg. I put it in the bator and within an hour or so the baby was bouncing all over and hatched without incident. They are stronger than most people think and she should do fine. [​IMG]
  3. meredithrocks2006

    meredithrocks2006 In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    Okay thank you! This is our first hen to go broody so I'm new to having the hen do all the work! I also have one more question.. The box she has decided to nest in is about 3 feet off the ground.. Will this be a problem? I'm worried about the chicks when they hatch, falling out of the box into the ground.. Any experience with this?
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    You might set her up with a broody box; I use covered kitty litter boxes, so I can just pick up and move a broody and her nest to a spot with less "traffic."

    She might be attached to that nest, though... Some broodies pick a spot and if you move 'em they keep going back to their first choice spots. Other folks move them to their own penned area.

    Just a thought. You would be surprised at how agile chicks can be, though! And for the first couple of days, they stay under mom most of the time.

  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    This certainly isn't Michigan here -- but I did have one hatch out chicks one February when we were below freezing at night and 40's during the day, a very cold winter for us. I noticed she didn't stay off the nest long at all while sitting on the eggs. The chicks still ran around outdoors during the day -- but ran back under mama after only a few minutes to get warm, then back out, all day, at least while the sun was out.
  6. meredithrocks2006

    meredithrocks2006 In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    I'm not sure if I would be able to move her, as she has a little "freak out"everytime I try to reach under her, let alone trying to move her! I dont want to risk her breaking the eggs.

    On another note, there are also other chickens in our coop, would that be risky when/if the chicks hatch? I have heard of other chickens attacking chicks. Although with how protective she is over the eggs I'm not sure she would let any of the others anywhere near the chicks.

    Sorry for all the questions guys! Like I said before, I'm new to having a broody hen do all the work! I'm used to incubating myself! I appreciate all your input!
  7. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    If you are scared of your mama, I don't think the other hens or roosters will be a problem. Sounds like she will go all ninga on the others if they so much as look at her babies.

    I left my broodies in their nests until the babies hatched because I was scared it would break their broodiness. After the babies hatched, I picked up mama and babies and carried them to a floor level nest box I set up for them. Mom will go wherever the babies are. My moms wouldn't get up for 2 days after a hatch. Never left the nest I moved them to. I fenced that area off from the others so I could put baby feed and waterers down without the rest of the flock gobbling it up and spilling. Once I saw mom showing them how to eat and drink, I removed the fencing and off with the rest of the flock they went. Good luck:fl

  8. meredithrocks2006

    meredithrocks2006 In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    Okay thank you so much for all the input! I know where to go next time I have a question!
  9. leggomyegg0

    leggomyegg0 In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2011
    If you are wanting to move her and are worried she'll stop brooding, just do it at night... She'll settle right back on to the nest and most times they'll stay stuck on the nest if they wake up on it in the morning... Generally speaking other chickens and roos won't mess with her and the babies.. but another broody hen will fight her, so heads up if you get another broody... keep them in separate pens where they can see but not touch until they are not fussing at each other and they are well bonded with their own chicks.


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