those of you with broody hens now in the North

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mrs. K, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    did you provide artificial light in your coop/run this winter? I am wondering it that daylength will trip the trigger so to speak?

    It seems a funny time of year, in the dead of winter, to have a broody hen, and yet many of you have one.

    MrsK
     
  2. i have a heat lamp that I have used a lot this winter. It is the red light type though and was not on them directly. i had it on if it was below 25 degrees out. Coop stays about 40 most of the winter so far. I know, why do it. and there is alot against it, but my girls are happy, I get 8 eggs a day from my 9 hens, and i sleep at night. my coop is s 8 X 12 shed, so its a basic light on the entire coop. my little girl is still trying to sit. She seems almost so confused!!!! my nest boxes are under the window and are dark and cozy. My coop is well lit by the daylight too. I have had them out every late afternoon with me so that i can shovel them some grass to eat. If it gets a little dark, then i have actually turned on my outside flood light for them and me for awhile. Call me crazy, I know.

    I still dont understand how she went broody this time of year up here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  3. serendipityfarm

    serendipityfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heat lamps in one case, and Xmas tree lights on a timer to come on around dusk and go off around 9pm in the other.

    Then again, I have broody Silkies & Cochins, so they are prone. One hatched a chick and triggered another in the big coop.
     
  4. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have only 3 hens and 2 of them have been broody off and on for months. I have one in particular that has been broody 3 times this winter. We gave her the wire cage treatment in the past and she was ok after about 3 days. But . . . we've had snow and really cold temps here the past month, so we are just letting her be. We only had one nest box for everyone, but had to add a 2nd one because she was interfering with where our other girls were laying. I feel bad for her -- the raging hormone thing is not good. I hope she doesn't continue with this for too much longer. The only upside is that she keeps changing nest boxes and covers the eggs that were laid, so they aren't freezing. [​IMG]
     
  5. are you using the Christmas tree lights to keep their light up to 14 hours a day, or for them to see, or for warmth??? Just wondering
     
  6. serendipityfarm

    serendipityfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I originally did it because I felt bad that they were in the dark so long. I know it's natural, but I figured with the light, they could at least peck and scratch around the coop in the evening. If I had lights on outside doing farm chores, they seemed to want to stay outside.
     
  7. madimorg

    madimorg Out Of The Brooder

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    I currently have two broody .. they have been for about two weeks now. I don’t use lights in the coop but I do have two of the red heat lamps that come on when the coop reaches 20 degrees. Not sure why they are but they definitely have hunkered down into the nest and are content sitting there for days just keeping the faux eggs warm. I keep pulling out the real eggs much to their screaming at me and just leaving the faux eggs in the nest. I actually probably should go ahead and take all of the faux eggs out since they have all learned what the boxes are for. My broody girls are an Orpington and a Splash Wyandotte right now. I do have day old baby chicks coming in late May and I hope to still have broody girls to slide the babies underneath.
     
  8. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When the days really got short here, we started to supplement light with a 40 watt bulb that is on from about 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. We thought that would keep them laying and not moulting (which a couple did in late fall). Didn't consider whether it would affect broodiness. [​IMG]
     
  9. i dit the light thing just for the eggs. I was told that they need the 12 - 14 hrs. a day to keep laying over the winter. so is it not normal to have a broody hen this time of year?I have been out of the loop so to speak with the chickens for the last 20 years. I just was able to get back into them last year.
     
  10. serendipityfarm

    serendipityfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If by normal, you mean common, I would say yes. I have read many posts on here about broody mamas raising babies in the winter and doing just fine. I bought some eggs for my broody & she quit, but then another one (and another, and another) replaced her, so I currently have 2 sitting on eggs, and we'll just see how it goes. The only tricky part is the eggs cool much more quickly when they leave the nest, but supposedly they are "wired" to figure that out and make adjustments to how long they leave the nest at a time.
    I'm supplementing by forcing the broodies off to eat or bringing them treats. But, like I said, we'll see how it goes.
     

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