If hens are laying in winter, will they set and hatch chicks too?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PatrickSheehan, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. PatrickSheehan

    PatrickSheehan New Egg

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    Jun 28, 2012
    My hens are still laying like gangbusters so I've left one nest box to just collect eggs hoping that some hen will go broody and hatch the eggs out on her own.

    Is this hope in vain? There are definitely sub freezing nights so I wondered if that would destroy the embryos anyway perhaps, and maybe hens are happy to lay but not set when it's too cold.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I doubt you'll entice a hen just by leaving eggs out like milk and cookies for Santa, but hey.... [​IMG]

    Really, if one of your hens should go broody, which is something you cannot really control, as it is a hormonal thing within her, she'll want to stay in the nest and bark back at you if you try to remove her. They "fake" it alot. They also act like they are going to do it, then quit after a few days of trying. This all depends on the breed as some are much more likely to be dedicated broodies and some almost never go broody.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I've had some success by leaving eggs in the nest boxes, but it depends on the hen really. Some are more prone to go broody than others. My MIL bantams were more broody than my flock of mix breed standards, for example. She only needed to leave one egg in a nest box for a day or two and she'll have a broody LOL
    It wouldn't hurt to try, I guess. But if you do manage to "catch" a broody I'd suggest swopping the "bait" eggs for fresh ones. If the eggs sat in a freezing cold coop for too long the odds of them developing and hatching will be low. See if you can find some life-like fake eggs and use that to temp the hens. If one falls for it and sits continuously for 2 days and nights swop them for fertile eggs.
     
  4. PatrickSheehan

    PatrickSheehan New Egg

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    Jun 28, 2012
    Thanks!
     

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