Chicks in January?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by smk2010, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. smk2010

    smk2010 Out Of The Brooder

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    I just started raising chickens this past summer and know very little about them. Yesterday evening around 6pm, much to my surprise, I reached into a dark nest to feel for eggs and found a hen. The hen was still on the eggs this morning (3 eggs so far). Could this hen be broody? If so, what is the chance that she will be able to successfully hatch out the eggs in January? I live in VA where the average temp this winter is between 20deg(f) - 40deg(f).

    Thank You!
     
  2. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a very good chance of hatching in Jan.... HOWEVER it might be a little more of a challenge after they hatch.

    If it were me I would put her in a small coop by herself after hatching and add a small heat lamp to help maintain a resonable temp in the area where they will eat and keep the water from freezing
     
  3. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The question is not can she but do you want/need these chicks? If not, just reach in, get the eggs and throw them away. She may stay broody for a while yet even with the eggs gone, but that's perfectly fine. saladin
     
  4. SPRING CREEK FARM

    SPRING CREEK FARM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] I agree with what is said here in this post; wintertime is a very hard time on little chicks; my Silkies would love nothing better than for me to let them hatch out some babies, but it would be so easy for them to get too cold and die. So, everyday I gather up the eggs, morning and evening, and yes, everyday there are hens trying to set on these eggs that they have just laid. Some of the hens protest quite loudly and do not appreciate my interferring, but it does not deter them from trying again the very next day! Once it gets spring time and the temps warm up a bit, they can do their motherly thing! [​IMG]
     
  5. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The question are they fertile. Do you have a rooster and how old is he?
     
  6. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:lol. cybercat is right. That is the first question that should have been asked. The second question would be the one I posted. saladin
     
  7. SPRING CREEK FARM

    SPRING CREEK FARM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That is definitely something to consider, if the eggs aren't fertile, your hen can set on them forever but no baby chicks will show up! I posted earlier with the assumption that you are quite sure that the eggs are fertile as you are concerned about your hen hatching them out and the cold temps outside. [​IMG]
     
  8. smk2010

    smk2010 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the replies. The hens are with a rooster so they are probably fertilized - he is about 1 year old. I would like to increase my flock by another 5-10 chickens so if the chicks survive I would love to have them. If need be I can bring the chicks inside until they are a little older, but if possible I plan to hang a heat lamp in one corner of the chicken coop and keep them there for mama to raise. If the chicks are kept in the coop what is the chance that the mice might kill them?
     
  9. SPRING CREEK FARM

    SPRING CREEK FARM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] As a rule, the mama hen does a good job of protecting and caring for her chicks, but there is always the chance that a mouse or heaven forbid, a rat could slide up under the hen and do some damage to the chicks. [​IMG] I think that chance would be far greater in the winter months when it is cold and everything outside is hungry. The babies will be doing a lot of huddling under the mama hen to keep warm.
     
  10. smk2010

    smk2010 Out Of The Brooder

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    How long after the hen starts laying on the eggs are they no longer good to eat? After 24 hours should I just dispose of them if she abandons them?

    Can I put other eggs under her after dark? We have 1 EE I'd love to get some chicks from.

    Thanks Again
     

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