We have a Silkie and a GLW on clutches of 4 and 5 eggs. We tried to move them with their clutches to a separate area last weekend; the hens did not like that and wouldn't return to sit on their eggs. So we moved them back into the coop with the flock and they've been sitting just fine ever since.
However, or Silkie keeps getting kicked out by the larger birds when they want to lay (we have 10 layers and 5 nesting boxes; they just really seem to like the one she's in best). So we've been having to go out and remove the unfertilized eggs from under her each night.
Tonight we found that one of her babies has arrived!!! So we checked in the nesting box with the GLW; she had a baby as well!!!
None of the other eggs have hatched yet. How long should we wait for them to hatch before we assume they won't? How long does it take a clutch to fully hatch when an actual chicken is sitting on the eggs?
And now that they're arriving, how should we go about moving the mamas and chickies to the nursery? I would do it tonight, but it's supposed to be very cold and I don't want to risk losing the eggs or the new chicks if the mamas freak out again. And when we move them, should we warm the new nesting boxes first with a heat lamp (obviously removing it before placing the birds in-- don't want to roast the mamas!)???
These questions must sound so stupid. We are learning! We got this flock as chicks last year and have only lost Roos so far (culled because of major aggression issues--we have toddlers running around!!!). I feel like we are getting more and more adept, but we still find situations where we don't know what to do!!!
Thanks for any help!