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Broody hens VS. Winter weather Should I supply them w a heat lamp

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChelseysChicken, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. ChelseysChicken

    ChelseysChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 2013 spring Hen who has decided to go broody. She is sitting on 5 FERTILE eggs.
    Shes a very small bantaM game hen and Im wondering how she and the eggs will do in the cold weather,with her only eating and drinking enough to survive because she doesnt wanna leave her nest,. I have place food and water dishes very close to her box but im worried bout the eggs. Should I put a heat lamp in the coop??? PLease any advice is very appreciated.
    PS:Spring I started my little chicken hobby farm,with only the essential knowledge of raiseing chickens.She is my only hen that has gone broody.So any extra info is also very welcome. Thanks!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    She will be just fine without a heat lamp, and so will her chicks. Generally, games make great mothers, too.

    I like to keep my broodies separate while they are setting, although since she's started, she won't want to be moved now. After the chicks hatch, she will want to raise them in with the flock, which I let mine do.

    When the chicks hatch, be sure not to feed layer feed. They can all eat starter, grower, flock raiser, or game bird feed. If she were mine, I'd have some game bird feed available. She won't need the extra calcium in layer feed til she is through being a mama and starts laying again, if then. Adults do fine on most any of these feds if they have some oyster shell available as a calcium source.
     
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  3. loversday002

    loversday002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    your hen would probably be fine without a heat lamp but if you wanted to put one in it might help but if you do they say heat lamps help chickens lay more in the winter so some of your chickens might start to lay more
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Agree wholeheartedly with the above. I have a broody that likes to hatch her first brood in March every year. She sits in an little uninsulated house with lots of straw for a deep nest. She takes her babies out into the snow when they are about a week old and moves them into the (unheated) goat barn to sleep at night, but they walk around in the snow and/or sub-zero temps outside all day to forage.

    I also take my hens off layer feed when they go broody and switch them to flockraiser, which has more protein and less calcium. I keep them on chick starter/flock raiser with the babies until the babies are weaned and it's time for them to start laying eggs again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Haha, reminds me of the first batch raised here. Obviously we don't have "real" winter, but their first week of life we were having windy days with high temps in the low 40's. They would run around for a few minutes, run back under mama (while outside) for a few minutes, then out again. No heat and a rather airish coop, just a pile of hay. They grew like little weeds and did great. I'm sure I fed everyone "starter/grower."
     
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  6. ChelseysChicken

    ChelseysChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    THEY HATCHED!!!!!!!!!!! What do I do now???? [​IMG]
     
  7. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Remove layer feed and go to starter. Make oyster shell available to your layers and make sure the chicks can get to water and food. Mom will do the rest. :D
     
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  8. ChelseysChicken

    ChelseysChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check check and CHECK!!!! Thanks!
     
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