Is a broody hen able to care for chicks in winter?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by prairie204, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. prairie204

    prairie204 Just Hatched

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    Feb 4, 2017
    Manitoba
    Hi people! I have 6 hens in a coop. One broody welsummer who is the low girl on the pecking order. I live in manitoba Canada where our winter days can get asblow as -30celsius (burrrr). I decided to put 6 eggs under her to see if she could do it and she is determined. She has so far been amazing. My questions are as follows...

    1) If she successfully hatches any chicks can she take care of that chick inside the existing coop with no modifications?

    2) if i take out the chicks to a warm brooder in my garage do I take her with them? If I dont will she be heartbroken?

    3) if I leave them all in the coop I fear she isnt aggressive enough to protect them (she has never even hissed at me). Will the others kill them since they always insist on kicking the welsummer out when they need to lay thier eggs, then she returns when they are done their business.

    4) does the welsummer stand any chance being re introduced with the babies late spring or are they all going to be picked on?

    This is my first time. Thanks!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! What an exciting time you and your broody girl have come to!

    1 - yes, it is entirely possible that a good broody can successfully raise her brood in those conditions - many of us are successful in allowing broodies to raise chicks in the flock, when possible it really is the best, imo, way to go - it eliminates the issue of later re-integration and brings about the least disruption to the flock as a whole. The lowest bird in the pecking order turned mama hen can be a force to be reckoned with - it is wise, though, to keep an eye on things for the first few days to assure that she has mastered her role as a mother and is holding her own with regards to the rest of the flock. Additionally, it is beneficial to the chicks to be raised in the flock as there are certain aspects of polite society that the rest of the flock can teach them which are much more easily learned from day 1 vs. as newly integrated flock members at a later age without the benfit of the early social training.

    2 - rather than moving them to a warm brooder, you could set up a "maternity" ward for the whole family if you wish to keep them together. A warm brooder is only needed if you don't move the hen with the chicks. Different hens will be effected differently but most are rather indifferent to the removal of the chicks after hatching.

    3 - going back to #1 - it is really a matter of "watch and see" - her demeanor now is not necessarily going to stay her demeanor post hatch and it is not a guarantee that the other flock members will be at all inclined to have anything to do with the chicks.

    4 - yes they can be integrated later - there will be some "picking" because that is the nature of integrating new birds into a flock.
     
  3. momma fernen

    momma fernen New Egg

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    Feb 5, 2017
    Lake tapps Washington
    I'm new to byc and help with a question I've got about incubation.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
    It would be best to start a thread all of your own - this is easily done by clicking the "start new thread" button that is next to the "post reply" button - this way the conversations are kept separate which makes it easier for you, the poster of this thread and those replying to both of you to keep things all straight.
    So glad you've joined us - get your thread posted and we'll be happy to help you with your question.
     
  5. prairie204

    prairie204 Just Hatched

    14
    1
    16
    Feb 4, 2017
    Manitoba
    Thanks Ol' Grey Mare for that ever so helpful answer! Thanks for taking the time :)
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens





    Hello,
    It is possible for your hen to hatch her eggs....I have a Broody hen that hatched two Chicks on January 23rd....She is in my garage in a puppy play pen with cardboard around the sides.....I have a heat lamp over her although it is not warm by no means....The chicks are doing great and growing like wild fire.........I also have another Hen setting and due on the 16th of this month.

    Best of luck!
     

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