Hen gone broody in winter! PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elizabethu42, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. elizabethu42

    elizabethu42 Songster

    232
    186
    116
    Jun 28, 2016
    Canada
    My hen has gone broody and its really cold outside -20 or lower. The eggs are probably fertile so I don't know what to do. PLEASE HELP.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    23,511
    12,602
    696
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Assuming she can keep eggs warm enough, odds are she can pull off a successful hatch. She must keep her daily breaks off nest short so making it so she has easy access to quality food and water ideal. If any eggs where frozen prior to start of incubation, then those should be removed. My eggs crack when less than 27 F for any length of time.

    Hatch time may require more oversight than you would when conditions are warmer. The chicks will do better with more continuous access to liquid water.
     
    featheredplanets likes this.
  3. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    1,191
    653
    251
    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    If it were me, I'd break her broodiness and try again when it's warmer. She'll lose about 20% of her body weight while broody, which IMO is too risky in extreme cold temperatures.
     
    calichicken likes this.
  4. elizabethu42

    elizabethu42 Songster

    232
    186
    116
    Jun 28, 2016
    Canada
    I really don't want to break her broodiness. Is there any chance I could make the coop warm enough for hatching so she and her eggs can stay warm??
     
  5. Hope Hughes

    Hope Hughes Crossing the Road

    3,020
    12,589
    812
    Apr 1, 2017
    Madison, FL
    My Coop
    If able, i would put her in a large enclosed dog crate, with food and water for her and move her to a garage or in a shed to keep her warm. I do this with mine anytime of the year it makes it easier to keep an eye on them i have a chicken nursry they go in and when the chicks are born i keep them in tnere for abput s week so the other flock gets used to them. It kinda like a mini chicken coop for them.
     
    calichicken, sylviethecochin and JaeG like this.
  6. elizabethu42

    elizabethu42 Songster

    232
    186
    116
    Jun 28, 2016
    Canada
    I blocked her off from the other hens so she doesn't steal any more eggs and also gave her food and water.
     
    Hope Hughes likes this.
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    3,980
    1,621
    301
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    First question.would you like her to hatch some chicks? If yes, candle a few eggs at a week and if they are developing, leave her alone. Bed her nest deeply. Shavings covered with straw has worked best for me in the winter. When close to hatching, I restrict their space to a 2x3 shipping crate. Keeps them corralled (can't fall out of the nesting boxes and freeze to death) but mom can hop out and do her thing.
    The best part of hatching chicks in the winter is you aren't cutting into the hen's prime laying period and the pullets will be laying by June.
     
  8. Hope Hughes

    Hope Hughes Crossing the Road

    3,020
    12,589
    812
    Apr 1, 2017
    Madison, FL
    My Coop
    As long as its warmer in the coop amd she has alot of beding and her food and water are close she should be fine. Just keep an eye on her and the eggs. Also since she isnt laying i would give her non layer feed. I usually give them the chick feed i am going to feed the chicks when they hatch. They see to do good with it... dont know if its frowned apon or not but just my experience and opinion. My bannies go broody about 4 times(or more) a year its crazy.

     
    elizabethu42 likes this.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    23,511
    12,602
    696
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Assuming clutch does not loose too much heat from below, little or no supplemental heating is required. be careful with how nest site is disturbed as that can break broodiness with some hens.
     
    elizabethu42 likes this.
  10. elizabethu42

    elizabethu42 Songster

    232
    186
    116
    Jun 28, 2016
    Canada
    I would love to hatch chicks. I'm also wondering when the other hens lay will she steal their eggs if there is no division? Do they lay while broody?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: