Broody Hen in the Cold of January?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Beanzie, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2014
    I went out to feed and water the flock and I noticed one little Silkie bantam sitting off in the corner still as could be. I walked over and nosed around and sure enough! She's sitting on three clean little eggs. (There was one poopy egg sitting a foot or so away. Was a bantam egg, not sure if she kicked it out or another bantie started laying next to her...) I don't know how long she's been on them, but it must have been within these past three days.

    I'm not exactly sure what I should do with them at this point. I recently bought an incubator, so that is an option. It can hatch up to 30+ eggs, so I'm not sure if it is worth it with three? I would love to hatch them out, but I've never hatched anything with an incubator before. But even if this little hen hatches them in this cold, the chicks won't make it with the single digits. Just not baby chicken weather.

    So, opinions? Should I take the eggs and attempt to hatch them in the incubator? I don't see them surviving otherwise... Do I candle them before bothering? I'm not sure how far along they are, will I be able to tell if they are viable? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Now for the photos!

    Here is the broody little puff-ball.
    [​IMG]

    She quick sprinted to the feeder and gobbled down some food. I left before I saw if she came back or not, so they may freeze if she doesn't go back to them. Two of those eggs must be hers, and that would fit the time frame of when she could have laid them, but that larger brown one must be from someone else.
    [​IMG]

    Hard to see, but she is one of these assorted Silkies. Pic from a few days ago.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think those babies have a much better chance of survival if they're raised by their mama than if you incubate them. If you really feel it's too cold, you could heat mama and babies after hatch, instead of separating the babies from her. Plus, if she's broody, the best way to break her of that is to let her hatch. :)
     
  3. anna mossette

    anna mossette Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there an option for providing her a nest indoors to hatch them out herself?

    We have one bantam hen who now insists on coming inside to lay when she goes broody (LOL). She is very good about letting us know when she is ready to go out (to do her broody poops and stretch etc) and very pushy about coming inside. She stands at the back door and yells until you let her in or will run in either door given the opportunity. I am a total push over so I accommodate her. Luckily we have a mud room that has now become the incubator/broody hen room/nurses office. [​IMG]

    Let us how it goes and Good Luck!
     
  4. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in an area where it is anywhere from twenty below zero and a high of maybe thirty degrees until May. I dont see them surviving in this cold. I really dont have a good area that is heated to keep her separate. Any particular reason I shouldnt incubate?
     
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, what are you going to do with them after they hatch? You'll still need a heated area for them if they are to survive the cold.
     
  6. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will be able to keep the chicks in the house quite easily, they will grow accustomed to the stimuli in the environment they are raised. This hen is actually one that was hatched on our farm, but hatched out by a hen so she isn't really used to people handling her a lot. We don't have a heated place that I feel she would be comfortable in. I have no problem raising the chicks in the house, but I think it would be a lot of stress on the hen to be inside.
     
  7. Just plucky

    Just plucky Out Of The Brooder

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    Too funny Beanzie! I discovered today that one of our Buff Orps has gone broody as well, probably 2-3 days ago...she was sitting on 13 eggs! I pulled 2 that I could get and I'll have to pull more later tomorrow (I was on my way out when I found out today or I would have pulled them) I'm just really surprised! We are debating on what to do as well, we don't have an incubator yet & dont know how fertile the egss are but we have 4 very active roos! We may just let her try to hatch out 2 or 3.

    What did you decide on doing with your broodie?
     
  8. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wasn't sure what to do, so I let her sit on them. Each day I came out there was one less egg, and until finally I found the other hens pecking her last one. [​IMG] I would have loved to put them in the incubator. All of our eggs this time of year freeze solid within a few hours of being laid, so I haven't anything to try it out with. Since then the little hen hasn't gone broodie again. Thanks for your reply, hope things go well for you. [​IMG]
     
  9. Just plucky

    Just plucky Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sorry to hear that Beanzie! If they freeze that quick it's probably for the best then & hopefully she'll go broody again when the weather warms up there :)

    Our hen is still sitting as of this morning, problem is we don't want 13 chicks this early in the year. I'm hoping I can pull some from under her today but I'm not sure how that'll go, she might just pull more eggs to the nest like she's done to get the 13 :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  10. HannahinOly

    HannahinOly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody hen right now too, so sorry to hear about your loss with your broody girl :(

    my eggs are NOT fertilized so my hen is going to hatch nada. My question is, if i sneak some day old chicks under her (found some from the breeder i got my girls from), what would i need to do to get her a good set up? I dont want to bring her inside, but I am thinking about building a smaller coop on the ground level with a heatlamp inside. My current coop is 4 feet off the ground and I'm not sure that ideal. Looking for advice, thank in advance!
     

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