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first hatching in winter...please help (with pic)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by maymay8, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. maymay8

    maymay8 In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi all - I've gotten some great help lately with our broody hen, Juniper, who for her first time is sitting on about 9 eggs. If everything goes well, I expect a hatch at the end of November/early December. But the place where she and our chickens choose to roost (not in the enclosed, ventilated coop!!!) is not in a warm area and I'm worried the babies will freeze. Since this pic of their chosen area, I've nailed a piece of board on the front with about 4 inches of room on each side for ventilation. The chickens are bantams so they fit just fine. you can kind of see Juniper in the bottom left corner of the area - just looks like a black shadow.


    While this will cut down on rain and such getting to them, I'm still worried. Plus, her nest is on the ground and with rainand snow (not that we get much here in New Mexico, but we get our share) , she will surely get cold and the babies, too, when they come. I've thought about wrapping the area is a tarp and am trying to figure out if a heat lamp is a good idea or if I should just bring the babies in or what. Please help if you have any advice to share. This is our first time at this and we are at a loss for what to do. Thanks!

  2. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    How cold does it get in NM??? Chickens are surprisingly weather resistant, at least to a certain extent. Is there anyway to insulate her area to help trap her body heat?? They give off a ton of body heat, and as long as that heat gets trapped in their area they should be fine...is there any way to put the thing on a box base??? There's gotta be a way to lift it and set it on something a few inches high just to keep her off the wet ground if it rains....

    The mama doesn't roost when she has chicks (I think) because she knows they need to huddle up next to her. She will stay on ground level.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  3. justhatchin

    justhatchin Songster

    Jul 5, 2008
    Galva, Kansas
    Hi! Here's my thoughts- I would leave her set, maybe put something to block wind and rain(snow) from both sides (the back has cracks in the fence?) a hay bale or a peice if solid wood just till she hatches, and yes I would tarp with a small piece of plastic weighted down so it doesn't flap to much and scare her but only when its threatening wind ,cold, snow ect. What side is she on north, south? You could stuff it with hay around her for insulation. Be careful not to disturb her to much though. [​IMG]

    When she hatches them- gather them all and put them secluded from other chickens for a while in the coop if possible. She will keep them warm in a nice bed of hay or chips, secluded so the other chickens don't bother her mothering.

    How cold do nights get there? 32? Just keep a eye on the weather and the tempture. You will be able to see if the chicks are cold and a lamp is need.

    The important thing now is to keep her warm enough but I would not move her, she probably would quit setting. Good luck!! [​IMG]
  4. maymay8

    maymay8 In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    thanks everyone! i'm devising some insulation and preparing to section her off from the others. maybe they will finally go intheir coop we labored over. ha.
    thanks again.
  5. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    by looking at your hens chosen spot, I think I would take a tarp and attach it up sort of high on the wooden fence behind the mom and the get a pice of 1x4 and attach the other side to it making sort of half a pup tent or lean to. You can secure the 2x4 with blocks to keep it secure in case of wind. If you place the top about 4 to 5 feet high you could run an extension cord out and place a clamp on light over or next to the little shelter she has. I have had a mom loose chicks to the cold here in Alabama and that was when it was cold but she was inside the coop. I always give them a lamp now and try to discourage them from sitting during the cold months. It does not always work, however. LOL

    I do see baby Game Birds at the neighbors house all winter long so some chickens do better with winter babies than others.

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