My two bourbon red hens were co-sitting on a nest of 18 eggs. They both shared the nest box & when one would get up the other would steal her eggs. They were doing such good mama jobs for about 7 days & then a skunk got in. It ate all the eggs. I noticed both hens outside the coop so I went out to check the eggs & count how many there actually were. When I got down on my knees to look in the nest box, I was face to face with the skunk. Lets just say I backed out of there pretty quickly! The skunk did the same thing as soon as I moved. Thankfully it was a young one & didn't spray right away. (It did later that night though) That was last week. We have since put more fencing around the turkey coop (like we originally did with the chicken coop) & I have set up a live trap. So far no skunk. The hens have been very mopey. Especially the original mama that first started sitting. She went in & sat on the empty nest for quite awhile the first day. I finally felt so bad for her that I put 5 chicken eggs under her. She seemed very happy & shoved them the rest of the way under herself. The skunk came back that night & also got those. Now I don't ever see her even go in the coop. I know she has to though cause that is where their water is. At least I hope she is. :( The other hen is starting to get nice and active again. As I'm typing this she is actually getting a dirt bath, which I haven't seen either of them do since this happened. The sad mama is huddled up on the perch. Which is where she pretty much stays now. Sooo sad!
How long does it take for them to start laying again after something like this? I was also wondering if I should try to put a few chicken eggs in the nest if that would get them jumpstarted on laying more eggs again? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.