Heat lamp or no heat lamp?

motorboat

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 31, 2012
127
4
83
I have a hen sitting on 5 eggs. They are due to hatch Monday next week. The hen and eggs are in a separate coop all to themselves. I have a window that opens and closes and a door that has chicken wire on it but I can easily close it up. I had planned on letting the mother and chicks stay in there until the chicks were big enough to integrate. The coop is full of pine shavings and I have a waterer and feeder set up. My dad said the hen would keep the chicks warm and a heat lamp is not necessary. I live in NC. It's unusually cool here so I'm worried they might not be warm enough but to be honest I don't even know if I can get power to heat lamp up at the coop. It's about 200 feet from my house.

What to do? thanks
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,053
19,407
857
Southeast Louisiana
Hens have been providing all the heat their chicks need for long before there were electrical lines and heaters. A hen’s heater never runs out of power and never starts a fire.

Providing heat to a broody with chicks is dangerous from an electrocution or fire perspective and is totally unnecessary.
 

farmer boy

Songster
7 Years
Jul 5, 2012
1,229
15
131
Canada,NB,River Glade
i let my broody hens stay with the flock so i don't have to integrate them and you won't need a heat lamp i had a broody hen in the winter time and her egg hatched and the chick is doing fine now
 

motorboat

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 31, 2012
127
4
83
Thanks. My thoughts were the same as Ridgerunner's but yesterday when I bought some chick starter feed the guy at the feed store told me I better have a lamp. I didn't know what to think. He said the first time he tried to raise chicks they died from being too cold.

Not sure what to do about integrating. I have 13 hens and two roosters and they all sleep on a roost that's more or less outside. It's covered on three sides and the top but the front is wide open into the pen/run. Where I have the hen and eggs is in an enclosed coop. I wanted to keep them in there until the chicks are big enough to survive on their own and because I know they will be warm under their mother's wings and they will have a warm place to sleep at night.
 
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WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
515
328
Ohio
One of my broodies hatched chicks March 1 this year in our drafty barn, and took them out into the snow at less than a week old to forage. No heat lamp is needed for Mama Hen and her babies, or chickens would have become extinct long ago!

Also, if she's a good mama, the hen will do the flock integration, which is very nice. Make sure there's lots of space when she first introduces the chicks--there may be some fights as she warns the rest of the flock to back off. My broody hens fly at others with their claws out, just like roosters.

She may also have her own ideas about the safest place for her brood. I wanted her to sleep in my hen house, but she decided that the straw in the goat barn was a better choice, and nothing on earth would dissuade her. To be fair, the straw in the goat barn WAS a better place. Just far less convenient for ME.
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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,053
19,407
857
Southeast Louisiana
I also let my broodies raise the chicks with the flock, just like they have been doing for thousands of years. I’ve had a broody wean her chicks at 3 weeks old, though 4 to 9 weeks is a lot more common. If I let her raise them with the flock from Day 1, she has more time to teach them how to be chickens and more time to teach the other chickens in the flock to not bother her babies.

Plenty of people do it other ways and are normally successful. There is a lot of personal preference in this, just like most of the things to do with chickens, but I find letting Mama take care of them the easiest for me and she’s darn good at doing that.
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
515
328
Ohio
I also let my broodies raise the chicks with the flock, just like they have been doing for thousands of years. I’ve had a broody wean her chicks at 3 weeks old, though 4 to 9 weeks is a lot more common. If I let her raise them with the flock from Day 1, she has more time to teach them how to be chickens and more time to teach the other chickens in the flock to not bother her babies.

Plenty of people do it other ways and are normally successful. There is a lot of personal preference in this, just like most of the things to do with chickens, but I find letting Mama take care of them the easiest for me and she’s darn good at doing that.
Amen. I've started breeding one line of hens specifically to be broody birds, because I dislike brooding chicks so much. A Marans X dark Cornish cross, with the dark Cornish as the mothers and only setting eggs from proven broodies that set AND take care of the young. So far so good.

(the Marans only because I happen to have one, and they are breed known to go broody as well).
 

motorboat

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 31, 2012
127
4
83
Speaking of which when you cross breed what breed will the chicks most likely resemble, the rooster or the hen?

I have a Light Sussex and the guy in my avatar as roosters and the hens are leghorns, black sex link, OEG bantam, EE, RIR two different types of game. I'm not even sure which eggs came from which hens except for the two bantam eggs I put under her.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,053
19,407
857
Southeast Louisiana
It’s not a rooster or hen thing. It depends on the individual genetics of the parents.

The Light Sussex over the RIR hen will probably give you chicks colored a lot like the Light Sussex. The Light Sussex over your black sex link hen should give you some chicks that look a lot like the Light Sussex and some that are mostly black. I’m not even going to guess on the others. I just don’t know.
 

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