Originally Posted by tjo804
I think we are having babies tonight!
My instincts say let her be ... am I on the right track finally? Or should I stay with her?
You'd never guess I thought she would quit and that is the only reason she got to keep eggs.
I am so excited like the stick turned blue and I wasn't sure it was possible, Then comes baby day!
I sure hope she is getting a couple of chicks.
Leave her be and do not disturb. Resist the temptation to lift up and check as you may catch a baby at a vulnerable moment causing a condition called "shrink wrapped" where the membrane dries on the baby like sticky glue creating an impossible journey for its hatch.
As to your prior question...if it works...you did it right. If something goes amiss, then learn from it and adjust. Everyone is different, every hen different, every coop different, flock different, etc.
To be honest, each hatch can still be different with the same hen. Some factors are controllable if you have them (predators, pesky busybody hens), some simply are not (weather, genetics of chicks this hatch, which can affect their viability...don't breed again from those birds next time). And sometimes you have no idea what went wrong or right and get "bust" hatches in great circumstances and "bonus" hatches when you didn't want or expect them.
Prepare that babies will wander and get themselves into trouble (they are tiny bird brains afterall), however, many flocks do fine with the chicks in the midst...others do not. (The biggest thing is predators will snatch a tasty chicken nugget without hesitation.)
The only thing I would really avoid is moving a momma and babies so close to hatch and over checking/handling during hatch and the first couple of days afterwards. You want to do any moving very early on with "dummy" eggs in case the broody doesn't like the new location and abandons the new nest. Avoid over-handling and hovering during "lock down" and especially hatching, and the vulnerable first 2 days as mommy bonds with her babies. Intervene only if there is a problem compelling to do so.
Good luck tonight. Happy peeps tomorrow morning. :D
Edited by Lady of McCamley - 12/24/15 at 6:16pm