Haching eggs with a broody hen


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
Let me start off by saying i have had chickens for several years before I lost them when we were hit with a tornado last year. Then i only had hens for eggs. Now that ive gotten my coop built back I'm going to get chickens this weekend and was wanting to try to get one to go broody as soon as possible to possibly hatch some chicks that would be ready to start laying by late spring given that the hens are laying when i get them. My question is, Is it too late to do this? What are some tips for getting a hen to go broody. I live in North Alabama and I'm buying Buff Orpingtons. Has anyone had luck raising chicks through the winter?
It's nearly impossible to "get a hen to go broody". From what I've read, broodiness is a hormonal issue. If I were you, I'd plan on putting the eggs in an incubator and then in a brooder after they hatch. That's really the only way you can get chicks to hatch on your time schedule. I would think that raising chicks in AL should be no problem. I don't know if it actually gets "cold" there or not. I'm in MN, so cold is a relative term. In January, 15* above can feel like a heat wave!
This spring my day-old chicks went right out to the coop with a heat lamp. It got down into the 40's at night, and they survived just fine.
I've raised them in a brooder before and i was really just wanting to do it the natural way this time. I've had friends do it this way and it was alot easier letting the mother care for the chicks but that was during the summer. I've read sometimes leaving the eggs in the nest will assist in getting a hen to go broody. As far a temps here we might get in the low 20's and teens at night during the heart of winter in january and february and 40's in the daytime.

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