Broody Hen in Winter?

ChickyLady124

In the Brooder
Dec 27, 2020
13
12
26
Good morning! I have a tiny bantam hen who has been broody for over a month now. It’s winter here and the first time she sat on her egg, the other chickens kicked her off so the egg never hatched (too cold). She was still broody so we put two eggs underneath her from a different hen and she has been sitting on them. They are about a week away from hatching, if all has gone according to plan. It’s cold here, 1-35 degrees F. My question is, if they manage to hatch, should I bring the chicks inside in a warm brooder? If so, should I bring the broody hen too? This is my first time hatching chickens. Thanks!
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,218
17,301
706
USA
She's currently keeping herself and both eggs warm, so she shouldn't have trouble once they hatch either.

With only two eggs, there won't be more than two chicks, so they should be able to fit under her even as they grow bigger (at least until they have enough feathers of their own.)

If you can move them somewhere above freezing that might be more convenient, because then their water won't get frozen either, but I think the chicks would be OK anyway.
 

Willow2253

Crowing
Dec 6, 2019
1,416
4,761
346
Eastern Oregon
Broodies are pretty good at keeping chicks warm. I had one hatch a single chick about a month ago, and there’s been snow on the ground since, and they’ve done just fine. Another girl just went broody so we’re going to let her try to hatch a couple as well.
 

ChickyLady124

In the Brooder
Dec 27, 2020
13
12
26
Personally once they hatch I would bring the whole family somewhere warm, but a good mama can keep the chicks alive herself in that weather
Thank you for your response! If I were to bring them in, how long should I keep the hen inside? I would keep the chicks probably 8-10 weeks.
 

ChickyLady124

In the Brooder
Dec 27, 2020
13
12
26
Broodies are pretty good at keeping chicks warm. I had one hatch a single chick about a month ago, and there’s been snow on the ground since, and they’ve done just fine. Another girl just went broody so we’re going to let her try to hatch a couple as well.
That’s great! I’m so torn as to what to do. I have a place inside I can put the hen and chicks if necessary.
 

ChickyLady124

In the Brooder
Dec 27, 2020
13
12
26
She's currently keeping herself and both eggs warm, so she shouldn't have trouble once they hatch either.

With only two eggs, there won't be more than two chicks, so they should be able to fit under her even as they grow bigger (at least until they have enough feathers of their own.)

If you can move them somewhere above freezing that might be more convenient, because then their water won't get frozen either, but I think the chicks would be OK anyway.
Thank you! I have a place inside I can move the hen and chicks but obviously it’s not ideal. I think we can keep the water unfrozen in the coup. So torn as to what to do. Our flock got attacked and went from 12 to 4 so we are now overprotective.
 

RebekahTN

Songster
5 Years
May 27, 2016
166
109
150
Middle Tennessee
I would probably bring them all in the house through the really cold spells.
If you plan to take the babies from the mom in 8-10 weeks, I would go ahead and just take only the chicks in.
It is MUCH easier to let the mom do all the work though. In 8-10 weeks it will be the middle of March and depending on where you live of course warmed up. I would personally move everyone in for maybe 4-6 weeks and then gradually move them all back outside the first part of Feb. A room that stays cooler in the house... or an area in the barn or garage that stays warmer than outdoor temps could be ideal.
 

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