Determined setting hen--in bitter cold/northern area, advise please

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 4Kids, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 1, 2012
    Hi there

    I have a very large Americauna cross hen who is determined to set. I live in NE Saskatchewan, Canada, and we have just been through some -35 and up to -48 temps. Our barn is unheated, but we have a couple of calves and 4 goats in with them so it is quite tolerable for everyone, including deep litter.

    Just in the past two days she has decided this. I noticed she is eating the greens in her box and she won't leave it, so I brought her some food and greens. I have taken the eggs but I really would like some of our fertilized eggs hatched, and so this is where I ask for advice. :)

    Should I let her try or continue taking eggs to hold her off until, say, March? Yesterday when gathering eggs, I got her to stand up and she hid one egg by holding it between her legs when standing up. She walked three steps with it and sat back on it before I found it! Like balanced on a wide perch with it.

    We will having freezing nights until prob the end of May. The snow leaves in April sometime, but we usually have snow storms until end of April, and one in May. (so fun.)

    Can anyone advise me on this?

    Thank you so much

    Jackie
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  2. donnaboydjones

    donnaboydjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    Right now I have THREE hens( A Americana, a Sussex and a Welsummer) broody in my coop. My silver Americana hen is on her THIRD time this winter of hatching eggs.(She started in October.) I too was worried because it's freezing( Wa. state), but what I did was I made her a spot that she wouldn't be disturbed, put in a red heating light, food and water and she has had success each time. I even had a TURKIN hatch 9 chicks ,4 weeks ago and I did the same thing. Even though the mama is back out in the yard, the chicks don't leave the warmth of the coop and the heating light.
    I'm not sure what the heck I'm going to do when the other hens hatch their chicks and I have three hens with babies and the other 9, 1 month old chicks AND before I realized the other three hens were broody, I had incubating 12 Americana eggs and just had a success of 7 chicks. As I see my words typed, I'm feeling a panic rising.lol
    Seems I have a lot of coop planing to do.[​IMG]
    But I really think if you have a heated light that the chicks can get under you should be good. The Turkin whos babies were born on Jan.1, would sit under it as much as the chicks and like I said, even though last week she went back out in the yard, the chicks stay inside.
    Good luck and I'm sure someone with more experience can give you better advice.
     
  3. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 1, 2012
    Well guess what. It has been well over 21 days and this morning we had our first baby! Solid black, named raisin. I was just resigning myself that they would have to be thrown out. I don't know how many times it takes longer than 21 days?

    We are so excited!
     
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

    5,721
    623
    331
    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    takes longer if they are colder, I would not trust only mom when they hatch if it is cold, they like to walk around with the babies and don't know the chicks get cold.
     
  5. heronz

    heronz Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    6
    111
    Jun 8, 2009
    It's cold out and that is what happens.
    I let my broody hatch them out there but quickly put mom and chicks in a giant(made for mom and chicks)-brooder with hardware cloth on the end that opens.
    I put the red lamp over the end with the hardware cloth so they can be warm when they go to the feeder and waterer.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 1, 2012
    And now our Jersey had her calf today! Two babies in one day... are we ever blessed. Tru and baby chick doing well. I hope for another tomorrow. We move them to the brooder then. We were so busy we didn't get a chance to move her today. She is a very good mother and is carrying her chick in her wing in her nest. SO CUTE.
     
  7. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 1, 2012
    Well we have four babies so far out of 6 eggs that she had for the longest time. In the last week she added one more and the very last couple days she stole two more.

    Ok, question:

    They are in the coop, in a nesting box, with the rest of the flock. This makes my husband very, very nervous. He wants me to bring them in today which I will, as apparently the other hens will attack the chicks?

    Does anyone have any advice? The nesting box she has picked is in a tier, the third one. Obviously no one baby can come out or they will fall on the ground. I am going to get a huge tub, put straw in it, and bring them in. At least then they can move around and poor Truodon can relax a bit. She is almost going crazy not being able to get up.

    Any advice anyone can offer would be appreciated.
     
  8. rosemi78

    rosemi78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    185
    4
    91
    Jan 27, 2013
    Ashland, Missouri
    Do you have a dog crate or something similar? You could transfer her and the babies into one, if you do. That way you wouldn't have to worry about other chickens getting to them or anyone falling from the nesting box and mama could get up and move around a bit.
     
  9. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 1, 2012
    We sure do, out behind the shop. I brought her in in a plastic tub. And then I managed to spill water in the bottom... poopy. It is a huge tub, five feet long and she is settled in the house :p here with us but quite suspect of being in here. At any disturbance those babies are up under her wings, lol. But the dog crate would work then I can let her out when i come in, although the door has such big holes that the chicks could squeeze through if she let them? One of them, Raisin, is 3 days old now and quite frisky. She kept trying to hop up out of the box I put them in to move them! And of course it is quite cold but we made it in, all good.
     
  10. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Dec 1, 2012
    Just realizedI could put a piece of cardboard over the bottom so the chicks don't get out.

    Great suggestion, thank you so much!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by