I have a sweet Pekin hen who has never had a beau (drake) before. She is about 4 or 5 yrs old. We adopted the drake - mallard and ??. The Pekin has been laying an egg daily since about Feb. I just removed the egg daily. No drake. Now, with a mating drake, I let her lay a clutch. She started sitting on 15 eggs 3 or 4 days ago. She is very aggressive when I go into the pen (enclosed stall in the barn), and approach her. She tries to bite, even attacks with wings and comes off the nest at me. The drake goes in with her at night. He is docile, seems bewildered because his playmate is occupied. He does not seem to bother, just keeps her company in an opposite corner of the stall. When the mama gets off her nest in the late afternoon to swim and stretch, they roam around together for about 30 minutes. They then return to the barn, and she goes back to the nest. Question - do I need to candle any of the eggs. Is it mandatory?? Will she kick any rotting eggs out of the nest herself?? I don't want to upset her, and have never candled eggs before. (I did attempt to crack open an older goose egg once, to see if it had been fertile. I should have called the bomb squad instead! Dumb, dumb, dumb thing to do! Icky powder that smelled worse than a skunk went everywhere, including on me. I don't any more "bomb" surprises!) Please advise. This will be my first hatching. Prior fowl was purchased as day-old chicks.