November broody???

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by chickenmomma16, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Chickens... It was my fault, I hadn't done a head count in a few weeks and I came up one short this evening. I feared the worst. I looked around the run and in the coop and nothing. I looked in the pasture for feathers, nothing. Looked under the coop (its quite large) and I found her! I thought she was sick because she had her eyes closed and was all puffed up but she was found to be quite happy and VERY broody!

    This is a problem for me. I don't have the heart to throw them away but I will be gone for a couple days around the first of the year. I cannot reach the nest and there looks to be a dozen or so eggs when I tried to push her away with a broom handle. I was able to snag one egg to sacrifice to see how far along her eggs were and it looks like they are on day 12. :( She is in the dirt and we just had our first night below freezing. Has this hen gone mad?

    My question is this:
    In your experience...
    1.) Should I just let her have them and let nature take its course?
    2.) Let her hatch them but remove the chicks from her and brood them myself?
    3.) Throw the eggs out now because it is likely going to be very cold and the chicks will have a tough time making it anyway.

    In a perfect world I want to do #2 but if I go with # 2 I would have to find someone to borrow their brooder and things and ask my significant other to have chicks in the house. [​IMG]
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Chicks are actually really hardy, more so than we think they are, and with their mother they will do fine in the colder temperatures. I've had broodies in snow with no loss of chicks. They get a little cold and they just zip right under her. I would put some hay under there - chances are she'll use it to her liking to insulate the nest and make it a bit warmer. Then perhaps after the eggs hatch you can move her and the chicks to a more suitable nest in the coop.
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Agreed!
     
  4. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My grandfather's old english game bantams hatched eggs in the winter sometimes. They didn't have a coop and usually brooded in his detached unheated garage. We even saw baby chicks following momma hen around in the snow sometimes. If you decide to let her hatch and then raise the chicks in a brooder its not expensive. I use a big plastic bin from Walmart with a piece of wire mesh laid over the top. I hung the lamp from 2x2 zip-tied to the backs of 2 dining room chairs. Simple but effective. My boyfriend was skeptical when I decided to brood them in the house but he ended up loving listening to them cheep and carry on. But if you leave them with her they will just crawl under momma when they are cold and will most likely be just fine. They are not as fragile as you would think and most hens take very good care of their chicks.
     
  5. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know they are that hardy. :) I will try and scoot some bedding to her tomorrow if we go through with it.
     

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