Broody hen / winter hatching question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by midget_farms, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I've not yet hatched my own eggs - I'm building the incubator now, but I had also planned to stuff a bunch of eggs under a broody hen in the spring.

    I've had 3 of my hens go broody in the past 6 weeks. My first thought is that it will be too cold to let the hen brood some chicks (so far it hasn't been). So as far as brooding hens go - can they successfully hatch & raise chicks if it is in the 20's 30's & 40's?

    By the way - the flock is totally free range - I only lock them up when the kids grandparents bring over the killer yorkies.

    The broodies have been Aracauna & Buff Orp.
  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
  3. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    My Jap hen had 3 babies 2-3 weeks ago, she knows when to bring them out and they all tuck under her when they get cold. So they should be fine. You can always lock mom and chicks up for 1-3 weeks in the coop if you need to.
  4. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2009
    Momma should keep them nice and toasty!!!
  5. kelliewindham

    kelliewindham Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2010
    Love the way you worded your post! [​IMG] Kids grandparents! [​IMG]:lau
  6. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    she will do fine as long as she is in a draft free coop. i had two silkie sisters hatch chicks last jan and it was snowing the day they hatched
  7. PuppyBantamCochin

    PuppyBantamCochin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2010
    I think the hen should be able to successfully hatch chicks, but you might want to keep a closer eye around the hatch date--one of our hens went broody late last month and unfortunately one of the chicks hatched during the night but didn't get properly covered and froze...but we don't have a heat lamp or insulated coop or that may have been the problem.
    Hopefully, you'll get a 100% successful hatch!!
  8. card5640

    card5640 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Bangor area, Maine
    My copper marans hatched out all last winter without an issue, I do have one sitting now and it has been extra cold, I am running a heat lamp in the oposite end of her mini coop. I also put a piece of foam core under her nest box to keep the cold off the bottom. I do find it is harder to move them all back to the coop as the chicks need to stay closer to mom and she expects them to go outside with her. When mom and babies are outside all the other birds run inside and vice versa so the other birds stay outside a whole lot more in the cold. I will keep her apart from the others longer during the cold season.
  9. Silkie-Feet

    Silkie-Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    Ky, Kentucky
    i have a hen setting on eggs right now. i'm in kentucky and an hour drive south of louisville. we are having a snow storm, i have a heat lamp on her. my coop is not insulated, but it is draft free. will she be albe to hatch chicks. the high for this whole week is no more than 40.'s
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  10. farmgirlwanabe

    farmgirlwanabe Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 3, 2009
    I live in Nova Scotia. My hens free range but I shut them up at night - always with a head count. I had one go missing and I was worried about her. Then I saw her one day and then she was gone again only to reappear the next. I watched her head off again and she went under our back porch. The days that I saw her she would hang around the coop for 15 to 30 minutes and the weather outside was -25C! Why did she pick the coldest week of the year to go broody? There's a foot of snow on the ground! I had to rip a board up off the deck because I was sure the eggs were duds and sure enough when I candled them they were clear. I'm glad I figured out what was going on...imagine the rotten egg stink everytime we went through the door!

    Other chickens have laid more eggs in the same spot and she's back at it again. How long will she sit there for before she gives up?

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