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Is brooding in winter normal

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dooner, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Dooner

    Dooner Songster

    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?

  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    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.
  3. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    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.
  4. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    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.
  5. 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
  6. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK

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