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Newly Broody Hen in Cold Temps- What to do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by crazyrooster118, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. crazyrooster118

    crazyrooster118 In the Brooder

    May 27, 2016
    My hen went broody for the 1st time a few weeks ago. I am located in Eastern WV and temps here have been getting into the low 30s at night and low 50s or mid 40s during the day. We are expecting our eggs to begin hatching within the week; however this is the 1st time we have ever hatched on our own. I have moved my hen and her eggs to a large dog crate beside the coop under shelter but it is still cold outdoors. My question is, what should i do once the eggs begin to hatch? Should i move them to a warm incubator then to a brooder? Should i allow her to care for them with a heat lamp provided? Ive read mixed reviews about what to do. My main concern is hatching in the cold. [​IMG]She seems to be doing very well caring for her eggs and is covering them very well. Any suggestions to this 1st timer would be appreciated.

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I would be inclined to let her do her thing. I'm sure that she will manage to keep the chicks warm.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    x2 Do make sure she's out of the wind in the crate. If you need to, maybe prop up some plywood outside the crate (not leaning up against it, a couple feet away to keep drafts from happening without preventing air circulation... and also prevent any blowing rain from getting them wet.

    Personally I wouldn't do a heat lamp as long as she's an attentive mom. Any doubts, tuck your hand under the wing of one of your other hens. =) Or under her, if she'll let you- very cozy and toasty under there. Mine surprised me at how little time they actually spent under mom for a fall hatch - motoring around and then tucking in for a little warmup after the first couple days where she'll keep them tucked in tight.

    The other reason I wouldn't do the heat lamp is it creates an artificially warm pocket of air for her. The contrast between the much cooler air and the heated air might cause her more harm than good. Think walking into a house with a fire going and then stepping out to a cold night ... nose runs and so forth.

    Now, if you hear all kinds of unhappy wailing from the chicks because she's not letting them under her, that's another situation altogether which would warrant further steps.
    1 person likes this.

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