I am still very new at raising chickens. A little history: 4 chickens, 2 Golden Sex Links and 2 Cuckoo Marans. They are 9 months old. I have an enclosed run with the hen house sitting on stilts above ground. There is a ramp leading up to the house and 2 nesting boxes inside and a roosting bar. The nesting boxes are avg size dish pans sitting in 3 sided enclosed boxes. I use pine shavings on the floor of the house and a mix of shavings and straw in the nesting boxes. Food and water is available down below in the pen. The girls are allowed to free range in the fenced back yard but are brought in in the evening. All had been laying fairly regularly, 3-4 eggs a day. OK, here're the questions. One of my Cuckoos went broody a month ago. I couldn't bring myself to cage her as I know it would stress everyone. They go nuts when separated at all. So after a couple of weeks of removing her from the nest throughout the day with no luck we decided to give her some fertilized (I hope) eggs to sit on. She has been doing a good job, only lost one so far (I think it is because the other Cuckoo sometimes sits on her to lay!) We are 8 days from expected hatching and I am starting to get nervous. We were taking her off the nest for a few minutes to get water, eat, poop and dust but have stopped at this stage. Altho I have put water and scratch in the house she only eats from my hand and doesn't appear to drink. Do I continue to offer her food? I don't know whether to keep removing her or just let her alone. Next questions, IF any chicks hatch how will they get out of the nest box, down the ramp? Should the mama and chicks be moved somewhere else or left alone? Since the other Cuckoo keeps sitting on her, should I put a curtain up or will this change stress her? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! I know that I tend to worry too much about the animal kingdom, be it puppies, kittens or chicks but any knowledge would be greatly appreciated.