Broody in January

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RuralVirginia, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. RuralVirginia

    RuralVirginia Chirping

    Aug 9, 2012
    I have a broody Buff Orpington hen that is hellbent on hatching her own brood. In past years we did not have a rooster so her attempts were futile. Many times a day for months at a time we would push her off the eggs and try to keep from being broody, but she never relented. In August we received 2 cockerels (1 speckled Sussex and 1 New Hampshire Red) by accident along with 3 hens. They have started mating with the girls and I'm fairly certain the eggs are fertile.

    Back to my question; is January too late to have a broody hen raise her own brood? I think she started brooding on January 18 so her eggs should hatch around February 1. A couple days ago it was nearly 60 degrees, but then again today there's a couple inches of snow (Virginia weather :/). I like the idea of letting her hatch her own brood (or at least let her try and see what happens), but will it be too cold for the chicks once they hatch? The coop she is in is well ventilated, insulated, and has a heat lamp for any cold nights with food access inside the coop. Is it worth it to let her hatch and raise the chicks with the other hens (putting out chick food and more places for water of course) should I let her hatch them and take them once they hatch (to raise indoors). We also have a section of the coop that can be fenced off for her and her chicks so that's an option. Or should we just give up and see if she get's broody closer to spring? Any and all advice would be much appreciated!

    Also if anyone knows a good way to donate/give away cockerels because we already have 2 (by accident I'll remind you) and the ratio of 1 hen to 5-6 hens is already kind of strained so we couldn't keep the roosters of her brood if they do hatch.
  2. philyaw539

    philyaw539 Chirping

    Jan 21, 2014
    Let her hatch them! I have a broody Modern Game bantam sitting on eggs and it snowed last night. She has a heat lamp pointed near her for extra warmth and her coop is insulated. Your broody will be fine! It's 25℉ here in NC!
    1 person likes this.
  3. kayakfish

    kayakfish Chirping

    Feb 17, 2013
    Cumberland, VA
    I have two Broodies , One ENGLISH Orp, and one Maran X, that are setting on eggs I think due within a week, and I have made a place in the coop that is stacked like apartments 3x3, that I put them in with a nest and eggs, they have their own water, and food source right in there, and can raise the chicks until about 4 weeks, then I let them out by opening a door to the main coop, and they can go and come as much as they want.
    The momma just needs a supply of water and food access until she hatches, due to the temps being low here in Virginia, to give her that extra boost while setting. Keep a eye on here and make sure she is eating, even if you have to add treats to offer her to eat. I give them both a little corn in the evenings along with the rest to help keep them warm, along with a 60 watt bulb in the broody bins.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by