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Hatching eggs in winter?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by thegrovestead, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. thegrovestead

    thegrovestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Minnesota
    Hello,

    We live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota where subzero temps are quite normal (woke up to -7 deg F this morning). We have 5 layers and a rooster and they are pretty active. I am very eager to start hatching our own eggs and growing our flock, but I'm not sure if its wise to do this until the outside temps are higher? I would of course keep them indoors until mature enough to be outside, but even so is it too early to start this?

    Thanks!
    Rory
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I know the feeling. I'm in the frozen tundra of Northern New York...lol It's often below zero and not uncommon to have windchill that pushes it 20-30 below. (Supposed to be -17 tonight. Still trying to figure out why I stay in this cold state...lol) If you incubate now, you'll have chicks before the end of the month, they'd be 6 weeks the beginning of April. I'm hoping by then we are having some decent temps cause I really need to kick mine out of the playroom...lol. Do you have electricity in the coop so if you needed to move them outside before temps were up there you could provide them with a heat lamp? Lots of people hatch and brood outside, even in the colder temps, but the brooders have to be free from drafts and they need a heat source until they are fully feathered. The more chicks the better cause they will huddle for warmth and those guys give off a lot of heat. I plan on doing an Easter hatch so the plan is to set eggs next month on the 15th. The quicker it warms up the better so I can finish the run and coop and get my older ones out there!
     
  3. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    Apr 14, 2012
    Fairfield, Connecticut
    Hey Rory!

    We live in the frozen tundra of Connecticut! I have hatched tons of chicks during winter with great success! Tons of people hatched eggs for the New Years Hatch-a-long and were fine. We have a brooder room in our barn that is draft free ad when the sweeter heater is on is pretty comfortable for the chicks in very cold temps. Sweeter heaters are currently the only heat source for chicks available that is not a fire hazard as far as I know. Pictured below are some of our chicks under it having an awesome time! Whether you decide to brood them in an outbuilding with this or just keep it in the coop and move them out there when they have their feathers, I would highly suggest it as a safe, energy efficient, inexpensive heater! Its much better than the Brinsea Ecoglows which are pretty much useless in a chilly environment.

    [​IMG]

    (You may wonder why my photo is their stock image on the MPC website (link below) - its my photo I swear, I am a writer for them and my mother is assistant to the CEO.)

    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog...es/Sweeter-Heater-safe-low-wattage-p1556.aspx
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    lol. I've heard a lot about those, they come highly recommended on the safety factor alone.
     
  5. thegrovestead

    thegrovestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Minnesota
    Great to know! I do have a heated coop that is draft free, but can you mix baby chicks with mature birds? I could makeshift something else until the chicks are a bit bigger.
     
  6. thegrovestead

    thegrovestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Minnesota
    I put together a simple DIY incubator and have 4 eggs incubating (3rd day). Will find out in a few days if any are viable. I figure that even being mid-winter, it might take me a few attempts to figure out the process. So better to start now than wait until spring.

    I'll report back later with any news!

    Rory
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Gouverneur, NY
    I personally wouldn't mix baby's with adults right away w/o a momma bird to protect them. I would have a section penned off for the littles so they were all in the same area and could get used to one another, but the babies would be protected.
     

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