Do hens get broody in the winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kathyinmo, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I am sure this is an elementary question, but I really don't know. If hens get broody in the winter, I am thinking, the chicks would surely freeze if left with them. I know they could keep them warm, but really in cold cold winter, that would be really difficult. [​IMG]
  2. chickndoglover

    chickndoglover In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    Victoria, BC Canada
    I had a hen go broody last winter and hatched some babies but we dont get as cold here as other parts of Canada and USA.
  3. Eggs4Sale

    Eggs4Sale Songster

    Jun 29, 2009
    I had two hens go broody when it was over 120 outside, so I imagine they'd also go broody in the extreme cold.
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I had a Buff Orpington who was broody on and off all last winter. I didn't allow her to hatch eggs, so I don't know how it would have gone.

    I never complained about it though, because at least she laid eggs through the winter. Whenever she wasn't broody...
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Mine have gona brooy in the winter when it was -40 for what seemed like weeks. I brought her in the house just before the chicks hatched so they wouldn't freeze outside in the coop, in fact I brought everyone into the heated garage last winter because it was soooo cold, nothing worse then chicken chores outside in those temps.
    My 3 chix likes this.
  6. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I had a BO hatch out eggs in late Nov. of last year. She had the babbies out at 4 weeks on snowy days in the sun shine. All still doing well.
  7. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:No kidding! That is so neat! I know the mama hens know better than we do, as far as taking care of the babies. So, the first 4 weeks, what did she do with them? Did she keep them warm in a nesting area, or did she let them out to run around soon after hatching?
  8. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I kept her and the 12 little ones in a brooder cage outside in a covered run. On the second week moma jumped out so I opened the door and the little ones followed moma around. She took them back to the nest box at night but during the day they wandered following mom. When they got cold the hen would sit and the little ones would crawl under her for warmth. It was amazing to watch. Moma even came to blows when another hen came to check them out. That was the only confrontation. Moma would puff up like a pillow and the others new what it ment. From then on all the other hens stayed clear. After about 6 weeks they all slept together on the roost. The chicks sandwiched in between the larger hens for warmth. Everyone should witness this it is a miracle of nature. John
    aliciaFarmer and CKC Coop like this.
  9. ChickenCat

    ChickenCat Songster

    Mar 1, 2009
    craig county, VA
    Years ago, our neighbor had a turkey hen lay a clutch in the ditch line. He was only there during hunting season, so we took care of the birds. Anyway, the turkey hatched out on December 27th in a sleet storm!!!! Our other neighbor alerted us and we brought her and the little turkeys into the house beside the wood stove. Her wings were covered in ice. After 24 hours we took them to the barn and turned them loose. they had a good place to huddle, scratch and grow up. I think she ended up with 12 out of the 14 come spring. Yes, it was a miracle.
    My 3 chix likes this.
  10. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:Oh, wow, what a nice thing to do. Makes for a sweet memory, too! So, I guess the answer is overwhelmingly, that hens do, indeed, go broody even in the winter. Thanks for sharing the stories.

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