ToO cOlD?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Hannah'sPlaidChickens, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Hannah'sPlaidChickens

    Hannah'sPlaidChickens In the Brooder

    Oct 30, 2007
    The only hen who I have ever had who:
    1. Can repeatedly get out of my coop
    2. Is completely independent from the rest of the flock
    3. Is a bantam, yet remains the alpha female, and,
    4. Is sought after consantly by my standard breed rooster (who will snuggle with her at night, find food for her and call her, and follow her around endlessly.)

    has laid eggs. She is eight years old, but has produced fourteen tiny eggs. However, they are outside of the coop, in a nearby bush. I have found them, but am afraid to move them.... (I might not place them in the exact position they were in the bush) I'm wondering, since this hen is very old, if I should pull the eggs and just cull them since I don't have an incubator. However, I would like some offpsring of this hen, if at all possiable. So.....

    is it too cold to let the hen waste her energy sittingon eggs, or, can she still hatch eggs, I just have to keep a close eye on them and put them inside as soon as they hatch? Its a tough decision, and one I can't make alone. So.... thought I'd dump it onto you guys!
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Personally, I'd move her into a better location, especially with this weather and her age.

    Brooding weakens a hen enough, and with winter fast approaching, and her age too, I'd err on the side of caution and move her inside somewhere.

    Do you have a dog crate or similar enclosure that you could put in a garage, covered porch, etc? Just make her up a nice bed of straw or pine shavings and then move her and the eggs into the new nest. I know others here have moved many a hen and nest without any issues.

    That way she'll be warmer, you can put food and water right there with her and you will be able to keep a much closer eye for her as well. Worst case she will abandon the eggs, but with the miserable temps, you are not likely to have a great hatch/survival rate if she continues to brood them where they are.

    Just my 2c worth!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2007
  3. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I have several bantams in my coop but only 1 is the alpha hen. I have them in with standards too. They roost next to him at night. I've checked their eggs and none are ever fertile I guess it's because of their size compared to his. I would mark them with a X on the side facing up before you move them. Then candle each one to see if it's growing and toss the ones that are clear. I would let her finish sitting on them in a secure area in the coop. I have a white jap who is a great mamma and she just went broody again a couple weeks ago. I have eggs due to hatch any day I may just let her have those to raise as her own. Good Luck
  4. Hannah'sPlaidChickens

    Hannah'sPlaidChickens In the Brooder

    Oct 30, 2007
    Yeah I have a standard Rhode Island Red rooster, and she being only a cornish game bantam, but I know she can do it because she hatched a single chick this summer out of him. I usually only let nature take its course, by not taking eggs, moving eggs, taking chicks, or hatching the eggs myself. How do you candle, etc? Also, the nest is very small and some of the eggs are over-lapping each other. I'm really afraid that I might place an egg on the wrong side, and kill the chick! Anyway, I have a custom build broody pen that is connected to an indoor hatching pen that would be perfect for her. But, I'm so nervous!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: