Letting a hen hatch in winter yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kylen2007, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm always loathe to break a broody, but I would do it if I had one this early, and my climate is much more forgiving than yours. I think the stress on ME would be too much [​IMG]. I'd wait a month or so, then see if I could bait the nest and tempt her to go broody again.
     
  2. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And I am bawling!!! I will have to be extra careful. I do have a spot I can lock her in with the chick/chicks to prevent them from getting too far away. And I only would have brought the chicks in if that os what I needed to do in this weather. I have a big dog crate I could havw put her i. With the chicks. I am going to watch her awe if she is stull there in the morning. i may even sneak out here in a bit and take a gander. My Easter eggers have zero desire to be broody but this one is a Jersey Giant and I have read they are known to go broody and decent mothers. I guess we will have to wait and see what she does. Funny part I pick up 14 chicks on Wednesday. 8 Pearls and 6 Silver Laced Wyandottes. Can never have enough chickens though!
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Frost bite toes is not a problem I normally associate with rearing chicks during the dead of winter. What I watch for is chicks being lost outright to hypothermia which is easy to prevent by keeping them on dry ground and not letting them get separated from their mother. A more likely issue is slowed growth where chicks and hen have conflict between staying warm and getting enough to eat. The chicks so challenged must divert more food intake to staying warm rather than growing. The hen has a harder time keeping her weight which increase of odds she will abort her broody cycle, Another problem comes with the quality of feathering and growth of body frame. I am concerned about adult performance where less than optimal conditions during the chick and juvenile stages impacts their alter development.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I had a broody hatch in Feb last year.....it was brutal, frigid cold most the time, but luckily hatch day was a thaw day, then it got cold again.
    Water was a big issue, had me trotting out with water and/or soaked feed 3-4-5 times a day.

    It worked out OK, but I don't think I'd do it again. I do think there was some foot damage from the cold.
    Here's that story: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947046/broody-in-michigan-winter

    There are other things to think about when letting a broody hatch:
    What to do with cockerels, to separate broody from flock or not-pros and cons, how to integrate chicks and broody into flock......and others.
    Here's good thread about broody hens:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread
     
  5. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well hubby and I decided to let her give it a try. We figure we get wnough eggs that we don't mind sacraficing a few to see what she does. We kept the pullet eggs and gave her the rest of the ones we got. Gave her a total of 6. 2 EE And 4 JG. Hopefully it all works out. This is our (and her) first time trying to hatch. This should be fun! I have a heated wAterer in there and the feeders. The nesting box she chose is closest to the feeders and waterer. Today she got off got a drink and ate then was back in there within ten mins. Wish us luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

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    Wishing you luck, would love an update in three weeks.
     
  7. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Here's our broody girl! She doesn't have a name. All of the Gianta look the same lol.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I suggest you make so water and feed are several feet away from nest until a day or so before hatch day. This will promote defecation well away from nest site.
     
  9. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is in a nesting box. The feeder is 3 feet crom the nesting box she chose and the wAterer is 4ft. [​IMG]
    She is in the box next to the one in the pic.
    [​IMG]
    Waterer is under that corner of the roosts.
    [​IMG]
    Finnaly that is the "jail" I may put them in once they hatch to keep the others from picking on the chicks... Hope you enjoyed the mini tour of my coop. Lol.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Your setup is where winter may be close to not relevant I assumed she was in a wind blown barn or coop. Your challenge will be cocci if that.
     

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