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Darn winter. When can I start letting the broody hens hatch eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bearz, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. bearz

    bearz Songster

    May 20, 2008
    OK, I'm already planning for spring. Sort of like looking at the seed catalog. I've decided to let the hens hatch eggs this year rather than using a bator. The hen did better than I did so why not?

    So, I'm thinking ahead and trying to figure out when it would be OK to let some start growing. I'm counting back and I figure if I start putting eggs under a broody the last week in April I'll have chicks the 2nd week in May. Is that too cold in WI for them to live? I'm going to have the silkies and cochins hatch them. I only want to hatch chicks thru the end of June because that will make them 12 weeks at the end of September, big enough to handle the cold.

    Am I thinking right?

  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Those dates should do. Send your hens the memo NOW so they can plan their broodiness around your calendar. [​IMG].
  3. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    If your broody is a good mama, you could let them hatch earlier than that, as a lot of hens go broody even in the middle of the winter and raise their babies just fine. I can understand your hesitation to do that though, since it is so incredibly cold where you live.
  4. pixiechic

    pixiechic Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    Quote:Exactly. Is there a way to tell when your hens will be broody?
  5. bearz

    bearz Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Quote:Exactly. Is there a way to tell when your hens will be broody?

    Well, my silkie goes broody with about a month in between. She is a great mama and goes broody like clockwork, so yea, I think it will work.
  6. If they hatch sooner, or if its still too cold when they begin exploring and exercising, just put a heat lamp where they'll be so you won't lose any like I did last fall. I lost silkies from Tori because the floor was too cold and the chicks got hypothermic before they could get back to the hen. If I could do it over again, I'd have put a heat lamp close to the floor for them and I'd possibly more than the one pullet now and 3 lil "beginner crowers" -

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