Letting a broody hatch late in the year??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BuffOrp82, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. BuffOrp82

    BuffOrp82 Out Of The Brooder

    49
    1
    34
    Dec 8, 2013
    Hi,

    I have a 9 month old Blue Orpington who has gone broody, I'd love to let her hatch some eggs but its the end of August and winter will be here (NE Ohio) sooner than I'd like. If I let her hatch, the new chicks will be born toward the end of September with cold weather coming about a month after. If I plan on letting her raise them with the flock is this too late in the year to hatch? Will the chicks survive the cold? I do not normally supply heat in the coop after the chicks leave the brooder, but this will be my first "natural" hatch without the brooder.

    I'd love to let her but only if its safe for the chicks :)
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'd probably take the chance, myself. It it's really cold, the mama won't cover them or care for them any more, and they are 4 weeks or less, I'd be ready with a temporary heat source, or at least, a cozy, hay filled small place where they could snuggle. They will likely be more acclimated to outdoor temps at 4 to 6 weeks than brooder raised chicks would be. And, maybe she will choose to mother them (cover them, keep them warm) til they are 6 weeks, at which point they should have no trouble with outdoor temps. I've had 3 week old, outdoor raised chicks moving away from the heat source at 60 degree night temps or less.
     
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,319
    446
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I gave a broody chicks in the spring. Snowed the next day and temps dipped into the teens for the next 3-4 night. They were the healthiest chicks I have ever raised. Feathered out super fast as well.
     
  4. BuffOrp82

    BuffOrp82 Out Of The Brooder

    49
    1
    34
    Dec 8, 2013
    Ok, she's still acting broody 2 days later so I slipped 6 fertile eggs under her today .. I haven't seen her get up to eat and drink though ... I brought her a handful of food today and she ate it but I'm worried that too much intervention from me might break her broodiness .. any thoughts?
     
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,319
    446
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I've given them a bowl of water and feed when they are too far from the coop. I would try to not disturb her too much. She can go without eating for a day and she will lose weight which is pretty typical.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You're not likely to see her get up to eat and drink. It's part of the instinct to hide the nest, to avoid leaving it while being observed. She actually needs the little bit of exercise she will get to walk to food and water. Just as they typically lose weight, they typically lose muscle tone. If she is in a confined space such as a separate small coop and run, you should see a single "broody poop" (large asnd stinky) each day. And you are correct, it does sem that too much intervention can break the broodiness.

    I'll give you a link to an article about broodies -- though there is plenty more material about them on the forum.

    Good luck!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/guide-to-letting-broody-hens-hatch-and-raise-chicks
     
  7. gus2pp

    gus2pp Chillin' With My Peeps

    313
    34
    108
    Aug 20, 2014
    Thanks for this post! I have been wondering the same thing. Let us know how things work out for you.
     
  8. BuffOrp82

    BuffOrp82 Out Of The Brooder

    49
    1
    34
    Dec 8, 2013
    Sure thing! I'm hoping for the best, the eggs should hatch right around Sept 19th!! So excited!!
     
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    727
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Best of luck with your hatch!

    I let my hens sit on eggs no matter what the temperature is outside. I've had them scratching around with a couple of inches of snow on the ground and they were just fine.

    I have a broody sitting on eggs now too, due to hatch Sept. 18th (my birthday :D I thought they'd make a nice present to myself :lau).
     
  10. BuffOrp82

    BuffOrp82 Out Of The Brooder

    49
    1
    34
    Dec 8, 2013
    I candled the eggs yesterday they all look good! They should hatch Friday! I'm excited .. anything I should watch for when they start to hatch? Will momma really do it all?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by