Help with broody hen in cold temps

salsss

Songster
5 Years
Mar 26, 2016
148
25
116
Adirondacks, NY
I was away and it's a long story but...I now have a hen who has been sitting on fertile eggs for about two weeks. In the coop...and it's in the single digits temperature wise. Also the nest is cramped, in the most inaccessible place of the coop that I can only get to by raising the egg box lid outside.
I'm thinking of bringing her into the house as I don't have room in the coop to isolate the nest.
Is it too late to transfer her and the eggs to a dog kennel in my house?

Even though I have lots of space in the covered run area, all of my 20 hens have been hanging out in the warmer coop. So it's crowded there. Any ideas to help?

Also this is my first experience with a broody chicken.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Leave her be until they hatch at this point. She will probably resist being moved. After they hatch you can see from there. She should actually be able to keep them warm herself.
 

salsss

Songster
5 Years
Mar 26, 2016
148
25
116
Adirondacks, NY
Leave her be until they hatch at this point. She will probably resist being moved. After they hatch you can see from there. She should actually be able to keep them warm herself.

Thanks! Do you think we should remove the partition between her nest and the next one, plus close off the front of the nest from the other hens? That way I could keep some food in there for her/them. I still worry about opening the whole thing up every time to feed them...
 

Kalimak

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
159
220
126
The Acreage, FL
In some cases, a broody hen will ditch the eggs if relocated, she will keep going back to where she sat on them in first place. I never risk it, so I personally keep them in the coop where they sat, and try to make a private section for the broody so none of the others would interfere with her. I also put a small feeder and waterer for her in the coop. As for the chicks, I think they'll be fine. I've had babies hatch in 40 degrees (Not as tough as your weather) and they did great. The temperature under a broody can be anywhere from mid 80s to high 90s (please correct me if I'm wrong) and the chicks know when to go out and go back under her.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
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5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Thanks! Do you think we should remove the partition between her nest and the next one, plus close off the front of the nest from the other hens? That way I could keep some food in there for her/them. I still worry about opening the whole thing up every time to feed them...
Pictures may help to see what you mean. Generally a broody will leave the nest 2 days after the first egg hatches to find the chicks food and water. So at that point I might relocate the bunch to somewhere more convenient.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,945
37,416
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southern Michigan
Long ago, when my first bantams lived in my barn, one of the hens brooded thirteen eggs and hatched and raised twelve chicks, with no assistance, in late November into December. It was cold, and they all did fine.
Now, my flock has a good coop and run, and nobody sets on eggs over winter.
If you can fence her off, or at least move her and her chicks to a fenced off section of your coop, that will work very well. I generally use a large dog crate, right in the coop.
Mary
 

salsss

Songster
5 Years
Mar 26, 2016
148
25
116
Adirondacks, NY
Pictures may help to see what you mean. Generally a broody will leave the nest 2 days after the first egg hatches to find the chicks food and water. So at that point I might relocate the bunch to somewhere more convenient.
She is in the second from left. See the partition? One screw and that could come out. edit: this is an older pic and she's not there in this pic.
IMG_6332.jpg
 

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flowerfaeiry

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2012
259
234
201
Onancock, VA
Leave her be. She's ground level so the chicks won't fall. Don't block her in, it's better that she get up and move around until the chicks hatch. She will keep the chicks safe from the others and she will keep them warm. When they hatch, put down chick feed and water so the chick has access and mama will show her. You can hang a feeder of layer feed up higher do the chick can't get to it or just feed the flock chick feed with free choice oyster shell.
 

salsss

Songster
5 Years
Mar 26, 2016
148
25
116
Adirondacks, NY
Leave her be. She's ground level so the chicks won't fall. Don't block her in, it's better that she get up and move around until the chicks hatch. She will keep the chicks safe from the others and she will keep them warm. When they hatch, put down chick feed and water so the chick has access and mama will show her. You can hang a feeder of layer feed up higher do the chick can't get to it or just feed the flock chick feed with free choice oyster shell.

She is one of my newest hens...hatched in April. Very young. Hopefully very fierce but very nice to me....no growling or pecking. Hope she holds her own with the others....?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,711
78,063
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Wisconsin
You may want to watch her on hatch day as if those chicks manage to get out of the nest they won't be able to get back in. Often other hens will kill chicks if they can get to them, so you may want to also separate them out but still within the coop for a week or two while chicks get stronger and learn to follow mom more.
 

MANNA-PRO

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