1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

New to hatching chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by RedJasper, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. RedJasper

    RedJasper In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    Mid to Upstate New York
    Hi Everybody,

    I have a few general questions.

    I have a hen that has gone back and forth sitting on eggs. She will sit on some for about 6 hours a day and then abandon them (so I take them and put in the fridge for food since it's still quite cold here in the NorthEast).

    Yesterday and overnight, she has sat on a new batch of eggs so I am thinking she might try and hatch them. Is 21 days the approximate incubation period? In cold weather, will she get off the eggs to eat and drink or should I provide seperate containers for her?

    Any other basic information anybody would be willing to give would be greatly appreciated.


    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! :)

  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Personally, I would never let a hen go broody in the middle of winter. I'd wait for spring.

    Yes, 21 days is the incubation period. I'm not sure what you mean by providing "separate containers for her." Yes, broody hens must drink and grab a little food as they incubate or they would die. That's true in cold weather as well as warm.

    Many people put their broody in a separate enclosure away from the rest of the flock with her own separate food and water supply. Is that what you mean? Separating the broody means other hens don't add eggs to her nest after she's begun incubating, and prevents her from being bullied away from her nest by higher ranking hens.

    There are many threads here on the subject of broodies. Just do a search and you'll see plenty of information.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by