Should I let hens set now? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Two of our hens are getting awfully broody--isn't it too late in the year for that? I have put some fake eggs in the nest boxes to encourage them to use more than one nest box, as they had been lining up like planes on a taxiway to use just one or two, and eggs were getting broken every day. I leave those in the nest boxes, but don't see that they would cause this behavior. Does anyone else let them set late in the year? This is Colorado, and it has been getting into the low 40's at night lately. Thanks! Jan

-- Jan in Colorado (, September 22, 2000


I'd love to know, too. My hens have been good all year about not hiding eggs, but over the last 3 weeks, EVERYONE is hiding.

-- Teresa (, September 23, 2000.

Hatching chicks this time of year is not a good idea.. It will be too cold for them to want to get out from under the hen to eat and drink,unless you want to put them in a small area with a heat light..I just "broke up" my 1/2 banty hen by putting her in a rabbit cage with food and water but no place to "set"..Only took 4-5 days and she was out of the notion.. Doris in Idaho

-- Doris Richards (, September 23, 2000.

I am new to they lay eggs year round? I am getting some (actually I had some..they all turned out to be roosters )so I was wondering if I should worry if they stop laying.

-- Cindy in OK (, September 24, 2000.

Thanks for the answers, the hens have finally decided to give up, as I kept taking the eggs from them. Hopefully they will be the ones I can keep over the winter, as I am going to put most of the hens except maybe 6 or 8 into the freezer and canner soon, and let them set in the spring, if they will. Yes, they do lay all winter, if they have enough hours of light, either real or artificial. You just have to supplement them in the morning with a lightbulb to "trick" their systems into thinking it is spring/summer. I forget how many hours they need, something like 14 or 16? Anyway, they don't lay as many as during the spring, but they do lay. Jan

-- Jan in Colorado (, September 24, 2000.

Chickens will lay for most of the year. It helps if you put some light in their coop to extend the short winter days for a few hours. If it gets cold where you are, make sure they have plenty to eat and lots of water-don't make them eat snow to survive. If you can, warm water and or warm mash will also help them lay through the winter. However production will sharply taper off anyway, unless you're set up with a climate controled confinement system. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, September 24, 2000.

The chickens need 14 hours of light to keep them laying. I have a timer turn on a light in the morning. It seems to work better in the mornings that extending the light in the evening. They go to sleep on the roost, light or not. They are hungry in the a.m. hours and more active.

-- Hazel L. Mauger (, September 29, 2000.

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