Incubating in the winter - doable or crazy?


In the Brooder
Sep 27, 2020
I wasn't planning on this and recognize that it's not ideal or even recommended, but these are unusual circumstances. So, our favorite chicken died for no apparent reason, the family is very sad and we have one last chance to have him "live on" though his progeny. I don't know if it's possible to preserve the eggs until spring and how viable they would be... I've heard of people hatching frozen eggs, but more like "they froze briefly before being collected", not "they were deep frozen for months"... Unless somebody on here has experience hatching eggs that spent months frozen? So, if we can't preserve the eggs, our only other option is to hatch them now, at the start of winter in the Northeast. Again, I know this is not ideal and I'd rather do it in the spring, but the timing just is what it is. This would be purely for sentimental reasons (the kids really loved that cockerel). We have enough capacity in the coop and run to add to our flock of 5 and were planning on hatching eggs from him in the spring anyway, to keep a couple and eat the rest, so this was already in the plans. The change now is that we have to do it in the winter instead of in the spring.

The last batch of chicks I hatched were brooded in our house, so I'll do that again, in a bigger brooder so I can keep them inside longer, let's say a month. Last time I kept them in for 3 weeks (in the spring) and everybody really enjoyed the experience. No problems with dust or smell, and the kids loved having the chicks right by their bedroom. Then I'm thinking of putting them in the basement for another month or so. It's not heated so it's cooler than the upstairs, but doesn't get as cold as outside either - hangs around the 50s - so that can be a transitional space for them. And then by late February or early March I can start transitioning them to the outside, for short periods at first and then longer... I'll section off part of the coop and part of the run with wire so the resident chickens can get to know them without beating them up.

Would this plan work? Anything else I can do to make it go smoother? I guess a lot would depend on what kind of winter we get, but at what point do you think I should start getting them accustomed to the outside? Any advice from people who hatched in the winter without a broody hen?

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I'm currently hatching chicks aswell I figured by spring I'll have good sized baby's to add to flock is it crazy maybe but sure I'd fun I would hatch the egg now so you don't loose the chance to have his blood line my son not I recently didn't experiment on hatching cold / frozen eggs and out of five of them we only had one survive they all started to grow but never made it past week one other then the one little fighter

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