Winter Broody Hen

9hensnarooster

Chirping
Dec 1, 2018
25
86
51
I have a Buff Orphington that seems to be getting broody on me. I don’t recall ever having a hen do this when I had chickens before. Our temps fluctuate her in Oklahoma. I wonder if she will be able to get a good hatch this time of year with temps between mostly 25 to 35 degrees and occasional temps falling into the teens. My small 4x4x4 chicken tractor coop has a 4x4x4 outer pen. The nest boxes are on the outside so I’m afraid of the cold air on the bottom of the nest causing a heat problem and the eggs getting too cool. I can build a little smaller coop and run for for her with an inside nest. Please give advice and input on ideas. Who has dealt with is? How? Outcome?
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,468
5,473
502
NW Oregon
I have had hens hatch in the worst of weather, blizzard conditions with freezing rain, blowing snow, 25 to 35, days of teens. Great hatches. My nests are elevated waist high with air space below.

Just put plenty of shavings in with some sort of box (can be cardboard) so she doesn't kick the shavings out.

The babes grow strong and fast. It will blow your mind away to see momma bringing them out into the run at those temps. They run around by day 3 or 4 in their little down jackets scratching and pecking. Then run back to momma as a warming hutch.

My winter hatch chicks grow fast (as they mature in lengthening daylight). Most times these winter hatchlings start laying by 16 weeks of age.

Just be sure that babes can't get stranded from momma through a fence hole or raised nest with momma down below, and they'll be fine as long as they are under a covered run, not direct weather or snow drifts.

LofMc
 

9hensnarooster

Chirping
Dec 1, 2018
25
86
51
Thank you, that makes me feel better. Since it’s Sunday and I’m around for most of the day I’m watching her to see if she’s really staying in the nest all the time. I’ve been thinking and there may be a different reason for her staying inside so much. She has one bad eye and is the most timid of the flock. I wonder if she’s staying inside so much just to stay away from the “bullying.” I may have a special needs hen on hands.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,285
126,446
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
to see if she’s really staying in the nest all the time. I’ve been thinking and there may be a different reason for her staying inside so much. She has one bad eye and is the most timid of the flock.
She could be 'hiding'.
Here's some other broody behaviors that might help:
Is she on nest most the day and all night?
When you pull her out of nest and put her on the ground, doesn't she flatten right back out into a fluffy screeching pancake?
Does she walk around making a low cluckcluckcluckcluckcluck sound on her way back to the nest?
If so, then she is probably broody and you'll have to decide how to manage it.

How many bird in that setup?
It's pretty small...crowding can cause strife... unto injury...
...and do you really have room for more birds?
If she is broody might need to break her instead of letting her hatch.
 

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