Broody hen and heat lamp

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by texgardengal, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. texgardengal

    texgardengal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2013
    Help!! I'm new to all this and my hen became broody. I thought she was sick. I have two hens and two roosters and they are a happy flock. When one of my girls stayed in the nesting box at night instead of roosting and looked....sick...not moving or coming out to eat. Anyway, I finally realized she was broody. We are having some really cold weather here and since she can't snuggle up to the other birds I added a red heat bulb to warm up the coop a bit. Its Enclosed but a bit drafty with only a heavy canvas tarp covering the door in the winter. Anyway, the light is making my roosters crow all night. Will this disrupt my hen, cause problem for any of them because of not sleeping.. Anyone have any experience with hens laying or setting in cold weather??
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The hen doesn't need heat and, as you've found, the birds need a dark period. I don't know where you are or what you think cold is but I have a couple broody hens now with chicks and it's getting into the single digits tonight.
    The nest box should be enclosed enough to give her all the protection she needs.
    Is she sitting on fertile eggs?
    Just make sure she has nutritious feed and fresh water available for her daily stretch.
    She'll get up once a day for a half hour to an hour depending on ambient temps, defecate, eat, drink and stretch. Then back onto the nest and go into a trance till the next day.

    If you think she's cold, slide your hand under her wing - it's over 100 degrees under there.
     
  3. texgardengal

    texgardengal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's only the morning of day 4 and I have no idea if they are fertile eggs? She pecks me if I mess with her. (That's how I realized she was not sick). But she was awake and looking around. Usually she keeps her head down like she sleeping or something, That is why I thought she was sick. I'm so worried about her. Less so, now that you mentioned the "trance" they go into.....yes, it seems like a trance. Ok, Ill calm down a little.
    Even if I did pick up an agg I have no idea what I would be looking at. I've read threads about candeling and what to look for and have seen the videos on UTube on the little movements you can see and veins that should be visible but I havent read one on "how to do it". So, No I have not even attempted that. Sometimes I wonder if I should be doing this. Really I'm not, it was her idea. I just wanted eggs for crying out loud. Now I have a broody hen. lol
    I'm in Texas,North Central Tex. Tonight it may get into the mid 20's. That is really cold for us. My chickens....we...are not used to those kinds of temps. lol
     
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  4. texgardengal

    texgardengal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, my chicken coop started out as a greenhouse last winter for my plants. it's plywood, 5x8 with two big nesting boxes in the back, a roost over the nesting boxes. The walls are plywood with only the top covered with a heavy plastic. When it was changed to a coop we covered the plastic with plywood to keep any heavy rain off.....just in case, the plastic was working fine. But we had some ice and I was afraid the plasic may sag with the weight. So i covered the top with plywook. It faces south no no direct wind and I covered most of the door with a very heavy canvas tarp leaving a little corner for them to get in and out. They dont get wind besides what little they may get through the door and their straw stays very dry... but the door is a little open. So, they are protected unless there is a leak i dont know about.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You can be assured with 2 roosters and 2 hens that the eggs are fertile.
    A rooster can easily cover 8-12 hens, depending on the breed size.
    It's too early to see much by candling.
    You can take an egg you're getting now and open it into a dish. Look for the germinal disc.
    Post 2 on the following post has a picture of a fertile and infertile egg.
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=257386&viewmode=author
    The infertile egg appears as a white dot.
    A fertile appears as a halo.

    As you wrap things up with plastic, make sure they're getting good ventilation.
    They need fresh air way more than warmth.

    My hens are brooding in a building with the top third of both east and west walls open.
    It was 10 degrees this morning.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
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  6. texgardengal

    texgardengal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, wow. My just below freezing temps are no biggie I guess. They are wearing down feather jackets...lol. It just seems so cold to be out there all night in her little nesting box all alone with the others snuggling up together, I was worried about her..I will try not to worry so much then. I think it gets pretty good ventilation. Only the very top has plastic. The walls are just plywood and there is no door, just heavy canvas, and I keep the corner open. But thanks, I'll keep that in mind and make sure they have plenty of fresh air.
    Thanks for your help!
     

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