All the boys showed up for their early morning hand outs (I like to feed everyone by hand before I leave for work), we have 3 males and 2 females, 1 female bred last year and 1 female just old enough to breed this year.
Being in upstate NY, I am not sure if I should be worried about the hens not being around this morning, its unlike them not showing up. I am probably premature in worrying about them, its only been overnight since I saw them last lol. I assume they have been searching out nesting spots now that the weather is getting warmer.
I was wondering several things:
Is it safe to go wandering around looking for their nesting spots? I don't want to disturb them if they are sitting on eggs, but I want to make sure they are eating.
We give them turkey/wild game food, is there better feed for breeding season?
Because we lost so many during the fall (predators took out over half the flock before we moved in), we plan to separate the babies from the free ranging mom's and put them in the coop, (the past owners had so many that if the mom's free ranged with babies they didn't mind only a handful making it to maturity) How long should we wait?
The coop is big enough to stick the moms inside with the babies, but will that distress the boys?
Am I missing anything glaringly obvious about protecting pea-family? I am new to all of this, I have been around the flock for years, but now its my responsibility to keep them healthy and happy.