I have a broody with three foster eggs. She is on day 19. I have a smallish coop with two nesting boxes attached to a large enclosed run. My nesting boxes are raised off the coop floor about a foot or two. So far my other three laying girls insist on laying their eggs in with her. It hasn't caused any problems thus far. I just take her off the next once a day to stretch her legs and eat/drink while removing the other eggs. I'm concerned now though with upcoming hatching. My concern is with the others still trying to squeeze in with her to lay their eggs while hers are hatching and/or new chicks. I am also concerned about the chicks getting down for food/water with all the other big chickens around. There really is no way for me to block off the area she is in from the others. I am inclined to take her out and put her in a separate area that is still with the other chickens but where they can not get to her or the chicks (at least during the first week or two). My concern is moving her at this point though. Would it be okay to move her and her eggs into a separate area now or should I wait until the chicks are actually hatched?
The other option I have is putting her with my other 5-9 week old chicks (5 of them) that are still in a separate coop waiting to get a little bigger to move in with the big girls. That coop has it's own nesting box. Not sure if mama hen would be okay with 5 other chicks in there with hers??
Suggestions please! This mama is getting very nervous with hatch day approaching.....you'd think I was the ones having the babies ;)