Orpington gone broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Slinkee, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Slinkee

    Slinkee Out Of The Brooder

    39
    2
    36
    Jan 20, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    We have an Orpingtin hen, I believe she was hatched in february, who has suddenly decided to turn broody. Last night when we checked on her she had four eggs, she roamed outside with the rest of the flock most of the day and I just noticed she has returned to the nest box and now has at least six eggs. Should I let her sit on them? Is she spending too much time off of them to hatch them? And, we're going to have some super cold nights coming up but our coop does have heat lamp, is it possible she could pull off a winter brood of chicks?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,060
    3,111
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    She can handle a brood this time of year.
    You don't need a lamp.
    Do you have a rooster to make the eggs fertile? If so, she knows what she's doing. Rarely does a broody screw things up.
     
  3. Slinkee

    Slinkee Out Of The Brooder

    39
    2
    36
    Jan 20, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Husband installed the heat lamp when he built the coop, we only run it at night in the winter. Our chickens are a bit spoiled lol! Thanks for the help, we do have a roo. He's an EE and half the eggs Tweety is hoarding are from EE hens. Ought to be interesting what the others turn out looking like....things could get weird!
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,060
    3,111
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You should let her sit on them if you want baby chicks.
    I reiterate, they don't need heat.
    Orpingtons don't need heat in Minnesota, they certainly don't need it in NC.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  5. Slinkee

    Slinkee Out Of The Brooder

    39
    2
    36
    Jan 20, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    I appreciate the advice, but she's the only "heavy" bird we have and its working for us. It does get cold in NC at night and every night the roost beside the heater is crowded with chickens trying to be the closest one to it. I don't NEED a lot of things but that doesn't mean I don't like them. ;)
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,060
    3,111
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I understand. It's like saying a certain plant tolerates drought conditions. They probably prefer more water though. I tolerate crowds but avoid them.

    Providing heat for chickens is a different story.
    I'm in Missouri and it gets below zero often. It will be in the low teens this weekend. I've never lost a bird to cold and I've never put heat on adult hens in 60 years and it isn't because I'm uncaring.
    There are several important reasons:

    • They need a dark period.
    • They need to acclimate to the cold.
    • A bird kept cozy at night and walking out into a freezing wind in the morning is stressed and prone to illness.
    • A bird kept warm really suffers in case of a power outage - which is normally in the worst weather.
    • They don't need heat now, but if you choose to provide it, not allowing proper acclimation, they WILL need it throughout the winter.
    • Most breeds we know were developed hundreds of years ago in cold climates with no means to heat them. Even their ancestors, the jungle fowl, can handle a wide range of climates, from rainforest to the Himalayas.
    • The cost of running a heat lamp for grown birds wearing a down coat, protecting their 103 body temperature negates any financial benefit to having chickens.

    What are your other breeds?
     
  7. KeikoStefy

    KeikoStefy New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 21, 2013
    I'm in the same situation only difference is that my hen (not sure what breed she is)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]one on the right

    [​IMG]

    is laying a clutch under a wicker lawn chair instead of the coop. The other hens are laying in the coop however they aren't sitting on them (broody??). She's not currently laying on them right now (reason I was able to get her pictures). Should I just leave her be or should I collect them and get an incubator for them? This is my first time I got them earlier this spring. Any help or advice would be appreciated! :)
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,060
    3,111
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I wouldn't let her do the under the chair thing.
    The eggs will find their way into a raccoon, opossum, skunk or whatever. And if she does go broody and stays out there she'll meet the same fate.
    A broody hen doesn't lay eggs. She'll lay a clutch then go into her broody trance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by