Broody Hen UNDER shed in winter..

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jessmhayes, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. jessmhayes

    jessmhayes New Egg

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    Jul 30, 2013
    I thought our girl went missing but saw a glimpse of her going under the shed and sure enough she has made a gigantic pile of leaves as her nest. SHe hasn't laid in over a month and I can't get under there to get her out or see if she has eggs. This is not the coop, it's on the other side of property. Should I just leave her be and put some food under there for her? It was way below freezing temps last night...
     
  2. Peplers chicks

    Peplers chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would say leave her be, and don't put food out, it attracts predators, But i don't really know how cold are your country, but in contrast of coldness a broody hen generate a enormous amount of heat
     
  3. justin shrew

    justin shrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    sometimes leaving a hen outside or in unprotected area is always a bad idea, most predators like foxes, are known to visit farm areas or small yards that has chickens,ducks or guineas. unless you can provide some cover around the area for her safe, worring about freezing temperature, you don't have 2, chickens or most of birds can survive extremely cold temp, their body heat helps them to tolerate extremely temps, Nature is Nature in somehow. thanks for your post
     
  4. jessmhayes

    jessmhayes New Egg

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    Jul 30, 2013
    thanks, I will just leave her be for now and keep checking on her. SHe did come out yesterday am to eat and drink but was extremely nervous and acting anxious to get back, I hope she's not sitting on eggs. It was just above zero degrees last night.
     
  5. Peplers chicks

    Peplers chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Why not, baby's are so quite, and it increase your flock
     
  6. jessmhayes

    jessmhayes New Egg

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    My only concern is chicks surviving the New England Winter.
     
  7. Peplers chicks

    Peplers chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    unfortunately there is always some lost due to weather, and is possible you can help after the hatching to protect against extreme colds
     
  8. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
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    Well it is 14 degrees here in Kentucky, and my cubalaya hen has her 10 day old chicks thriving. They are in a small brood box with attached run. I stapled plastic on the W and N sides of the run, and piled leaves up against the hardware cloth. On the south side I leaned an old window loosely against the wire. They have a bucket on it's side, and I hung a heat lamp beside the chick fountain in the run. The chicks seem happy and active.

    The chicks run around most of the time. Only after a big feed do they bask and dust bathe in the sand under the lamp, or pile under momma. They are growing and feathering out faster than any I have ever seen!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OP - I probably would at least get her and her eggs in away from predators somewhere. Perhaps a box in a corner of your coop or garage? Though tempted, I did not bring mine indoors. It is the holidays and we are having lots of company. Plus I would probably be committing to overwintering them. It really isn't good to take them into 40-50 degree warmer temps, then try and take them back outside. If you have had other hens in your flock successfully brood I would give it a try.

    I like to baby my broodies. It convinces them I am their servant, so they teach their babies to be tame. My current mama is only a pullet born in March, but she is acting like a pro. The broody hens get all hormonal, pecking and growling, so I use a spoon to put a real yummy mash (yogurt, oats, regular feed, all warmed up) in the hen's face. She whacks at it, then has to taste it. They get the funniest look when they realize you are feeding them instead of trying to take the eggs!
     
  10. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
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    Another thought about winter brooding : Hens pay a price to brood eggs. Their whole metabolism changes, generally slowing down. I have a friend with a large flock of Orpingtons who breaks all his broodies. The few he allowed to set raised their broods successfully, but the hens never thrived and often died in the following year. With most people I would question his care, but his flock is very well cared for and really glows. His experience is what inspired me to try feeding my broodies as I wrote above. Now I see all the other benefits of spoiling the broody. Just remember, too much supplemental heat isn't spoiling, it interferes with their acclimating.
     

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