Hatching Chicks in January... What to do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by brotchicks, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. brotchicks

    brotchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2015
    NY
    Hello! Yesterday morning we came across five eggs under our broody silkie. We brought them inside and candled them and to our surprise... Chicks! We found chicks developing in 3 of the 5 eggs and maybe something in another one. We figure that they are all between 2 and 3.5-4 days old.

    We live in New York and it is going down to about 3 degrees or below some nights. The eggs seem to be warm enough and this hen has hatched a chick successfully before.

    We were not planning on hatching chicks, especially this early in the year but we for sure do not want to kill the eggs/chicks.

    What would you suggest doing? Should we let her hatch them and then bring the chicks inside and raise them in a brooder? Should we bring her into the garage or basement and let her raise them there so they can still be with her but they will have room to walk around without being to cold? Any tips or advice would help!

    Also has anyone ever had a white leghorn and silkie mix?!? What would that look like?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  2. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    If you're not wanting to destroy the embryos, if it were me...I "think" I'd let her do the job of raising her chicks, wherever you decide to put her. Broody hens are more suited for raising chicks than we give them credit. If you were happy with the way she brooded before, I'd let her try with the knowledge that things "can" go wrong and that you may lose the chicks.

    IF you don't want any losses, possibly incubate them yourself. Silkie hens are pretty amazing though, especially if she's the only one setting...she shouldn't mix things up.

    I have Silkie X hens broody all the time. They had a huge nest of OEGB eggs stashed behind our brooder. If they had continued to set on the eggs, I would have let them. But moving the brooder and eggs confused them so I tossed the eggs. Didn't want to see what had developed and I didn't want to incubate now. I incubated last year through winter and I prefer to wait for warmer weather this year...lol.


    My partridge Silkie crosses look like Silkies, they have straight-type combs but they lay eggs the same size as my large fowl EE hens. Perhaps they are crossed with leghorns? I'm not sure. They can definitely lay when they're not setting...lol.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    I also have a Broody setting eggs in my garage....Due to hatch next week......I have card board around the pen and a heat lamp on...She is doing great......


    Best of luck.....


    Cheers!
     
  4. brotchicks

    brotchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2015
    NY
    Thanks for all the advice! We will be candling tomorrow and then will decide what to do from there. Will let you know!
     
  5. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    Southwestern MB, Canada
    That would be awesome to update us! Thanks!! [​IMG]
     
  6. brotchicks

    brotchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2015
    NY
    Ok so we candled today and here are the results:
    so we found 3 eggs that looked about 6 days old and 1 that looked about 5 days old. The last one didn't have anything in it. We are now going to have to decide what to do from here. Will keep you posted!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I let a broody set during a frigid winter.....it worked out OK, but not sure I'd do it again.
    The chicks were bopping around in single digit F's....but I think they suffered some mild frostbite to feet.
    I still have the 3 females and they all have some funky toes, but are otherwise very healthy.

    Here's the whole story:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947046/broody-in-michigan-winter
     
  8. brotchicks

    brotchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2015
    NY
    Thanks for the story, it really helped us. We decided to move her into the garage. She has a nest, some space to walk, and food and water. It is about 15-20 degrees warmer in the garage so hopefully they will hatch!
     
  9. DuckLady256

    DuckLady256 New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2017
    Okay I have a problem with my ducks. I have a mallard hen, blue runners, pekings, and other various breeds. Most all of my females are laying eggs. They are cooped up at night to stay away from predators so that is where they are laying them. I have been checking the nest daily and so far they have laid 4 directly in the nest they made and sprouted some other ones around in random places. Yesterday evening I took some fresh hay and just spread it around close to the nest. This morning when I went to check for eggs they have taken one out of the nest and laid two more beside it where they drug the other one out. Is this because they don't want the nest anymore since I laid fresh hay in there? Any advice would be appreciated.
     

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