Broody in the winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by orchard17, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. orchard17

    orchard17 Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2009
    Barrington, NH
    Let me start by saying that I am in NH and although we are experiencing a slight thaw (low 30's during the day) it is below freezing MUCH of the time and will be for the next couple of months. My one bantam hen (i think she is an araucana, excuse the poor spelling) has decided she is not moving off of her clutch of eggs. At least one of which is not hers. She is currently in a nest box that is shielded from the outside by a piece of 3/4" plywood. It does have a fair amount of hay in it. I'm not concerned about the eggs getting cold because she will not move regardless of what I do. I'm worried about the possibility of the eggs successfully hatching. Then what do I do? 9 hens, a standard (mean as a son of a gun) roo and 1 bantam roo share a 4x8 coop. They refuse to go outside with the snow but normally have the run of the 3+ acres (and occasionally the neighbors' yards). What I'm saying is that they are only crowded in there b/c they choose to be. They always have the option to go out. Do I see if they successfully hatch and seperate them from the hen and bring them inside to a brooder? Will that upset the natural balance of things? I'd prefer not to break her of this broodiness. Will they survive the temps with the mom if I seperate them from the rest of the chickens? Do I have to separate them? I need some advice and although Storey's book is very helpful in some instances, I would like to hear what you guys have to say based on your experiences.
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Once hatched you can always brood them separately. However, with 2 cocks present + other hens in such a small area there is a very good chance that they (the chicks) will be eaten once they are out of the nest before you can even get to them.

    If you don't really want chicks right now, but also don't want to breakup the broody then the answer is relatively simple.

    Just take some golf balls and subsitute them for the eggs; you can do this any time of the day or night. Take out an egg: slip in a golf ball. The hen might peck at you but you'll be fine and so will she. She'll not know the difference between the eggs and golf balls.
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    If you don't want or need chicks then simple take them away and throw them out. It won't stop her broodiness until she's ready to stop.
    I have three right now and they are perfectly content sitting on an empty nest.

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