broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lrichards, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. lrichards

    lrichards Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    I have several questions. I have a broody hen that sitting some eggs (which i do not know if they are fertile or not). It is the middle of winter and I am looking at them hatching (if they are fertile) in mid-late Febuary. It will still be pretty cold then. So here are my questions.

    Will she protect the chicks from the cold or will I need to provide a place that is warm enough for them?

    Once the chicks are hatched, can I let her and the chicks run with the flock?

    If I discourage her from being broody, will it affect her getting broody at a later date?

    I have 4 hens and a roo.

    Sorry for so many questions this is my first time.
     
  2. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Hi. I'll try to help but I'm no expert (although I've had broodies hatch chicks but never in winter).

    1) She will protect the chicks from the cold but some people hang a heat lamp over the place where the broody and chicks are just to be on the safe side.

    2) My hens always took the chicks near the flock but wouldn't let anyone get too near so, yes, you can let them run together.

    3) No, your discouraging her from hatching these eggs will not affect her getting broody in the future.

    Let me ask...how many eggs and how many days has she been sitting? If she just started and it were me, I'd not let her hatch chicks right now. It's done but so many things can go wrong in this frigid weather. It's much more fun to do it in the spring and watch mom and babies go on walks in the yard and not be worrying the chicks are going to get too cold. (I'm a worrier). If you DO let her hatch them, be sure she's in a nest on the ground so that the babies don't fall out of the nest box when they hatch. Move her BEFORE she hatches the chicks.

    Hope this helps some. Good luck and I'd say, chances are, if you only have 4 hens and a rooster, that the eggs are fertile. [​IMG]
     
  3. lrichards

    lrichards Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    I think she has been sitting for about 4-6 days and she is sitting on 16 eggs. I was thinking that i would go out and move her into the coup tonight. She has decided to sit on her eggs in the shed which is not heated at all and I worry about her getting cold. Do you know what is a good # of eggs to let her keep and if I let her. How do I get her to to go broody in the spring?
     
  4. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    My question is, if she's been sitting already... you only have 21 days until they hatch... maybe add a day or 2 due to the weather.... you should be expecting mid feb at the lastest?! Right?!

    Oh, and where are you located... I'm sure if you are further south they'd be fine. My chickens hatched my ducklings in November/December (after Thanksgiving) and they stayed in the coop find for 2 weeks... then it got down in the low 30's for a bit and I took them in.
     
  5. lrichards

    lrichards Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2008
    We are in Idaho. I am concerned because I only have the one coop and do not have the ability to set up another. I would be able to bring the chicks in, but then I would have to reintroduce them to the group. Something that I would like to avoid.
     
  6. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would try to candle them at night and see if they are veining.
     

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