Hatching in Winter?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Neverenuff, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Neverenuff

    Neverenuff In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2008
    Harrodsburg, Kentucky
    So I am a duck mom and I was thinking about getting some Silkie eggs (I have never owned chickens).. my bator is usually full in spring with duck eggs so I thought I would get a jump on it.. I live in the country.. but have no land to speak of.. just a typically yard.. They ducks have a 50 x 50 yard and a 10 x 20 chain link reinforced with hardware cloth night pen with a house inside of that. ( I have 5 east indies at the moment). I was thinking of putting the chickens in there but with their own dry sleeping and eating quaters. Ducks are MESSY!!

    here is my questions if I incubate eggs in the next couple of weeks that means that by the time they will be 10ish weeks old it is still going to be cold here and maybe to cold to be put outside? I do have electric in the duck pen so a heat light can be provided.. do you think that this will be acceptable for them by 10ish weeks.. I am in KY..

    I sort of sprung the chicken idea on my husband last night and he was not thrilled with the idea so I want to be as realistic as possible and since I have never raised chickens I really do not know how fast they feather out.. I do not have a basement or a garrage.. I was going to brood them in a spare room of my house..


    Jamie and the Duckies and Belgian Tervuren..

  2. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Songster

    May 3, 2011
    Georgetown, KY
    Hatch on. There are alot of us that hatch all year around. All is good as long as youve got a place to brood them. [​IMG] i love fall/winter chicks
  3. babymakes6

    babymakes6 Gifted

    Feb 24, 2009
    far west Ohio
    Quote:I would be cautious about putting them in the same pen with the ducks. Here is why: ducks are wet and messy, chickens are not. Ducks can and do pass on Coccidiosis to the chickens, because Cocci thrives in wet, moist, or damp conditions. I do have two ducks in my chickenhouse right now, but the food and water is outside and they freerange, so I haven't had a problem. As soon as my second coop is finished (this weekend) I am moving the ducks into their own dog kennel while the d'Uccles will be going into the new coop.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    In Kentucky you can easily do it. You don't even have to brood them in the house since you have electricity out there. Just get ready for them before you start. Those three weeks in the incubator go by real fast.

    What you need to brood them is a brooder that you can keep one area warm enough for them, but the rest can cool down to ambient. That way they will find their own comfort zone. You'll be surprised how often they are out of the heated area. It also needs to be very protected from drafts. I have a wire brooder so it gets plenty of good ventilation up high, but I put a plastic drop cloth all around it up to a height of maybe 12" to 16" on the sides. That keeps all breezes off of them.

    Another option is a hover. You can buy them or make them. The idea is that you put something fairly low that they can get under. The heat is trapped under there with them. If you make one, the risk is that you will make it too hot. I haven't done that myself so I can't give any real details.

    I don't have Silkies, but I have had 5-1/2 week olds in a grow-out pen with no heat when it got into the mid-20's. With Silkies, you might need to wait a bit longer, I don't know. But some things to consider.

    The number of chicks makes a difference. If you have several they can keep each other warm. One or two by themselves don't generate as much heat as a dozen. If you only have a few, you might want to provide some heat a little longer.

    I think the big one though is acclimatizing them. By having a fairly large brooder and allowing the far corners to cool down to ambient, they get used to the cold. It's not a shock when you take the heat away. This is why I think it is better to brood them in the coop. You can acclimatize them much easier.

    If you can get fertile eggs, there is nothing to stop you this time of year, but you do have to plan for it.

    Good luck!!!
  5. Garrisonkidsduo2

    Garrisonkidsduo2 Chirping

    Nov 4, 2011
    Williford, Arkansas
    I have been hatching duck and chicken eggs this month and last month and I am actually going to be hatching until February and then take a brake and hatch out Turkey eggs in March April and May. I just started hatching but I chose winter because by the middle of spring I will be getting eggs from them for us to eat. I have people wanting some of my ducks for ponds and stuff so I am hatching them out so they can put them in there pond come spring. I like the winter hatch because we are always home so we can turn and watch the eggs.
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Ducks + silkies in the same pen = messy disaster chickens lol. I have 4 silkies.. They have feathered feet that get stinky/messy easily. You should either consider a different breed, or pen them separately.
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Love hatching in the winter. Now that I have girls that go broody, I can hatch all bantams all winter and any LF I can give to the broodies in the spring.

  8. Neverenuff

    Neverenuff In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2008
    Harrodsburg, Kentucky
    Ok.. I think I am going to go for it.. I am going to try and win one of CJ's autions and off to hatching we go.. I will take note as to seperating the duck pen and the chick pen.. The chick house and run construction will start this weekend.. before the eggs go in the bator...hopefully will be done in a couple or 3 weekends if it ever quits raining here!

    Thanks for the advice.. I am sure I will have many more questions as we get closer to actually having chicks in the brooder [​IMG]

  9. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Quote:I have 5 of CJ's eggs in the incubator on day 19.
  10. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    I love hatching year round....It takes the blahs out of the bad weather and dreary days of fall and winter....And hey:) if you need eggs, we ship year round as well!!!![​IMG] My friends call me the egg pusher!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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