Is brooding in winter normal


8 Years
Apr 24, 2011
One of my four hens is a bantam silver laced wyandotte. Not a great egg layer but for the last week and a half she has not left the egg box. Is this brooding? How do you know, how long does it last and does brooding happen in the winter?
She is broody.

Happens as you see but is not optimal. Everything progresses same as during warmer months unless eggs chronically cold before setting starts. Normally eggs take about 21 days to hatch, if cold prior to start of incubation then a day or two can be added to time required for some to hatch causing greater dispersion in time between first and last chicks to hatch. Nutritional needs of chicks harder to meet unless you provide some sort of chick grower. Chicks in extreme cold spend a lot more time getting brooded by hen and I think do not get enough physical activity for developement.

If really cold outside, low humdity in contact with eggs may reduce hatch rate.
Does she get mad when you try to get the eggs from underneath her? I think it is pretty normal for a chicken to go broody in the winter, but some experienced chicken folks don't let the girls hatch in winter due to the possible weather issues. It can be done, tho.
I have a gold laced wyandotte who is broody for the 2nd winter in a row. I have no roo so she isn't sitting on eggs for hatching, but she will sit on the eggs the other girls lay & keep them warm.
I`ve got a free range mutt hen with 2 week old chicks on the ground. It`s been in the 20's at night here and no problems. She would take her daily constitutional around the middle of the day. Also have a Thai hen on a clutch of 4 eggs for 2 weeks. She leaves the nest early in the day. With these low temps I'm curious to see how this hatch goes. She is often off the nest for 20-30 minutes when temps haven't reached 30* yet. But, as others have said, yes it is common for hens to brood in winter..........Pop
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