Going broody in the winter

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Heathero617, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone had the pleasure of this happening? There is NO way shes allowing me even near her nest and my alpha roo hears her and comes running and puffing up to protect her. Should I just let her be and remove any chicks who hatch or should i move her and her nest to a seperate enclosure with a heat light or what should i do? It's getting down to the 20's at night here but i'm not sure how long that will last as the winters are not normally too extream in this area. But this is only my second dealings with a broody hen. Thanks a bunch for input!!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Winter can be a little harder that the better months, obviously, but don't treat her a whole lot different than you would in the "good" season. You don't need to provide heat. That's Mama's job. You can leave her where she is and let her raise any chicks she hatches, or you can remove her for the hatching, then let her raise them with the flock. Or you can take them from her and brood them yourself. Your options really are not that different than any other time of year, but one thing that might be different is that snow may limit space and Mama needs some room to do her job.

    If you let her stay where she is, you need to gather all the eggs you want her to hatch, mark them, and give them to her at the same time. Then, you need to look under her once a day and remove any new eggs that show up. If you don't check every day you can wind up with eggs that were developing but died because she got so many she can't cover them all and some were pushed out and cooled off, or you get a staggered hatch, where she abandons the nest and leaves behind perfectly good developing eggs so she can feed and water her live chicks. Wear long sleeves and gloves if you are afraid of her, but it is something you need to do if you leave her where other hens can lay with her.
     
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I would leave her alone and let her raise her chicks. She will keep them warm and they will be healthy and strong. No need for a heat source other than her.......Pop
     
  4. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] my sentiments exactly

    I have had winter chicks, the mamas do a good job keeping them warm. I might separate the mama with the babies from the flock just cause if it snows and mama goes outside in the snow I would worry about the little ones having a hard time navigating through the snow. Would hate to see a little chick get stuck in the snow and not be able to get to mama to keep warm.
     
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Just a comment on this. If she is not having others lay in her nest and is able to cover all her eggs easily, just leave her alone. No need to mark the eggs if other hens aren`t laying in that nest.......Pop
     
  6. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks much, I shall leave her be. As far as gloves??? Shes right up there with being protective enough to warrent a kevlar suit!!!! We'll see what she does, if anything.
     
  7. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you move her til after she hatches or she could abandon her nest. I know I tried this once. Also I just had a bantam go broody in an unsecure place in the corner of the fence. I moved her nest and all inside and she wouldnt stay on them.
     
  8. Bryam

    Bryam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is very interesting!
     

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