Broody hen in late January?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SparrowSong, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of our hens went broody this past week so we are letting her sit on the eggs and hopefully hatch some out. We're in the mid-south where the weather depends on the day. We had ice and snow last week, and it will be in the 60's this weekend.

    What are the chances of this being successful? Will she be ok in the coop with the chicks or do we need to separate her and the chicks from the rest of the flock? They have a small run, but I let them out to free range (in a fenced yard) most days.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi, i have read that hatches can be fine even in the coldest months - mum knows what to do with her little ones normally. I normally allow a broody to sit in a nest, and then put her and the chicks in a broody coop. However, i only use my alpha hen (and now only broody hen of my flock) to hatch and so i don't get problems with other hens laying in the same nest. I know that other members isolate the broody (in the main coop) to try and prevent this and provide safety for the chicks in their first days.

    I usually let the chicks out with mum after 2-3 days to free range with the rest of the flock. My chickens seem to ignore the chicks, and only seem to start teaching them chicken manners when they get to around 4-6 weeks (usually when mum has had a gut full of her chicks).

    On the whole, keeping the mum and chicks with the flock makes for easier integration, so I'd suggest trying to do that if you can.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    CT
     
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  3. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! My broody hen happens to be the alpha, so that's good. So far, she has been the only one of my 4 hens to go broody. Our coop is small and sits on top of the small run, so I'm not sure if we can isolate the mom and chicks inside the coop or run. We may have to prepare another place just for them if they need to be alone. Mom will usually protect the chicks from the rooster and other hens, correct?
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi there. Having to put mum and chicks in a separate place will as likely be more detrimental than keeping them in the coop IMO. Since she's the alpha hen, I'm sure all will be well and yes, shell protect them from all comers, although its likely your roo will be friendly towards the chicks and the other girls indifferent- thats my experience at least. I even have some hens that take on the role of aunt when little ones are around!

    Good luck
    CT
     
  5. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!
     
  6. LRRanch

    LRRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Separate the hen from others and let her do what comes natural. She knows what to do and will do fine even if it is cold.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  7. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
    Thank you!
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Africa - near the equator
    You are most welcome

    CT
     

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