Originally Posted by Coop de Grass
@PD-Riverman, I read that taking them out once a day to eat and drink was alright, and she didn't fuss at all, so I continued. She is in very good health. I've also heard that if you leave them on the nest and they don't eat or drink, their condition deteriorates. Have you had this happen?
I don't intend to move her and the chicks until she is out of the nest - thus the dog crate
Deteriorating can happen, but is rare if the hen was healthy and parasite free before brooding and she didn't get parasites while setting. Some hens tolerate people interference/assistance quite well, others don't, use your best judgement based on coop environment and hen temperament. Sometimes situations in coops cause folks to have to provide a smaller than ideal enclosed area and they have to get the hen out themselves daily, this isn't ideal at all, but everyone's situation/set up is different. Hen's will get up on their own when needed if their environment allows.
I do suggest checking a hen for weight loss, condition issues or parasites if you notice anything out of the ordinary with her while setting and provide intervention as needed.