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Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by dannimiller, Jun 4, 2016.
She started sitting sometime in the last 4 days, has 5 marked eggs under her. What do we do next?
You should separate her from the rest of the flock as they will want to lay their eggs where she is sitting (meaning you have to remove them and disturb her each day) and if she isn't high up the pecking order they may not let her back on her nest when she has her daily break. It also keeps the chicks safe from the other members of the flock when they hatch as they will be seen as intruders. Chicks also have different needs from the rest of the flock such as chick starter and very shallow water dishes filled with marbles to prevent drowning,
Move her and her eggs at night, in the dark and she shouldn't notice. Even a cardboard box tipped on its side with lots of nesting material, somewhere safe from predators is fine so it's dark and feels like a nestbox. Give her food and water that is out of reach of her nest, but where she can see it, to encourage her to get off the nest and have a little break - put some treats in her food bowl to tempt her. You can candle the eggs with a strong torch at night if you want to, or just leave her to it. It takes about 21 days for chicks to be ready to hatch and she will sit for about 48 hours once they have hatched to let them absorb their yolk and see if any stragglers hatch. Very occasionally a first time mother doesn't know what to do when the eggs hatch, and may even attack the chicks, but this is rare. If she isn't stressed out she should be fine. It is absolutely gorgeous to watch a mother hen looking after her babies, and if she is usually friendly towards you and will eat out of your hand she will teach her chicks that you mean good things. Enjoy!
Thanks, will work on a nice dark place for her Monday.
Good advice and i would reinforce that keeping her in a separate area, but within the coop will aid integrating the chicks