Can a mother hen keep chicks warm during a long freezing winter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by joebryant, Jan 4, 2010.

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  1. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Can a mother hen keep chicks warm and raise them during a long winter of freezing weather without any added artificial heat?
    Has anyone had a hen raise chicks without extra heat during a long freezing period during winter?
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  2. kees

    kees Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I have the same question!

  3. Litewings

    Litewings Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    Summerfield, NC
    I just placed bands on two baby racing homers. They hatched on 12/31/09 and we've had temp. in the low to mid teens (11-15 degrees) here for the past few nights. The babies were as warm as could be. The bird is doing a wonderful job so far.

  4. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Songster

    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    My neighbor sometimes has one of his wild hens hatch out chicks in the winter, and he says that most don't survive. I have hens hatch out chicks in the late summer/fall and winter can be a little tough on them. At nights/very cold days they stay inside the shed with some heat, and I have lost a few of them. Love chicks, but I do my best to keep them in the spring/summer.

    Hope it works out!
  5. Farmer Benjii

    Farmer Benjii Songster

    Nov 2, 2009
    Vic, AUS
    well normally if the coop is well insualated they can [​IMG]
    hope it helped [​IMG]
  6. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    Yes I had an Amerucana raise chicks without extra heat they hatched last January, and we had quite a few days where the waterers froze, she only had 6 chicks, but they all made it, same mom raised 14 in the summer, but dont think she could have covered that many in the winter.
  7. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    I had a broody 28 wk old Barred Rock that sat on a nest for 2 months before I gave in and got her some fertile eggs to hatch. Only placed four under her for her first hatch. All four took and hatched out. They are now 2 months old and happy and healthy. Three of them are light brown leghorns who aren't suppose to be cold hardy and one black start (sex link).

    Last month when the chicks were a month old, the Pacific NW had a week long cold snap. Daytime highs 23 - night time down to 9'. She kept those chicks warm and toasty in a non-insulated former horse stall. If the chicks got cold out in the run, they would snuggle back under Mom to get warm.

    She was such a GREAT first time Momma hen. Two weeks ago with the chicks at age 1 1/2 months, she finally stopped sleeping in the nest box with the chicks and rejoined the other hens back up on the roost. For the first two nights, the little ones would run in and out of the nest box at night calling to Momma to join them and then finally gave in and joined her on the roost trying their best to get under her wings. Only two would fit (the pullets) so the two roos would snuggle on both sides of Momma.

    Good luck with your little Momma.
  8. cubalaya

    cubalaya Crowing

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    i think its cruel to raise chicks in the winter unless they are incubated eggs and you keep a heat light on the chicks until they are feathered out. thats why hens get broody in the spring .
  9. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Hens go broody when they go broody, not always in the spring. I've broody hens more in summer than in spring. I had a hen go broody with one egg in the fall. I have an unheated coop and the hen and chick are doing fine. The chick is about 6 weeks old and I'm getting low temperatures between 10 and 20 right now.
    flwrldy and agelgrant like this.
  10. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:Joe, I would have thought you'd command Ann to go out there and breathe on them to keep them warm....
    Sperryfarm likes this.
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