Ready or not?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ninjawesome, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. ninjawesome

    ninjawesome Currently being awesome Premium Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    Wild, Wild West
    Hey peeps! [​IMG]
    So I got a beautiful white silkie who just started laying. [​IMG]Off and on, she would sit on the eggs layed by she and our other faithful RIR, and now she is in the box about 24/7, brooding 'duds'. It is almost December here in northern Utah. We have no roosters (so the eggs are not fertilized). Should we purchase fertilized eggs and hope she incubates them the full 21 day period, and after that hope she will raise them in the freezing winter? Or should I break her from the habit, and if so, how do I do this?

    As you may have noticed, I only mentioned one other hen and that is because we had a disease wipe out all the others this past summer. [​IMG] We were already planning on getting around 5/6 more chicks from the local feed store (or from online like MPC or Meyer) this spring but now that the opportunity is here, should I go with it? Should I let her broodiness get me some chicks? We do not have an incubator so it's all on her to keep the chicks alive (that and the shelter of the coop. and the warmth of the heat lamp).

    If I do let get her some fertilized eggs, do I put food and water by her or just let it be? Do we need to get artificial heat? If I do purchase fertilized eggs, how many should I get to make sure I don't get all duds? [​IMG]Any more tips? [​IMG]

    Lots of questions [​IMG], but if you could answer even one of them that will help. Thanks so much! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2016
    Surrounded by the Amish
    Ways to stop broodiness in hens are freezing a water bottle and putting it under them in a nest. I've never tried so I don't know how effective it is. I just read it in an article. If you were to raise chicks id wait till spring when it starts to warm up.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    I just answered a question just like this so I'm going to copy and paste, hope you don't mind:

    I actually do hatch this time of year, and I'm in cold and snowy VT. As long as you can keep them warm and have space to brood them it's fine. With a hen doing the brooding you're probably fine - chicks are surprisingly tough and can handle really cold temperatures as long as they can get under the broody when they get cold.

    BUT, I only do it because I have a detached workshop that I can brood them in if I have to, such as if the hen rejects them. I really don't want chicks in my house for months waiting until they are feathered enough to be weaned off heat and go outside, which could happen if the hen rejects the chicks, so take that into consideration before you do it.

    End of copy/paste. I also want to note that if she gives up on sitting on the eggs, it sounds like you have no backup plan. If she stops sitting then you'd be SOL with the eggs and they'd die, so consider that too. That said, silkies are VERY broody and chances are good she'd see the eggs out to hatch.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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