Ok, I have a question for you all out there. this is the first time I have ever attempted to have a bird hatch eggs, or to hatch eggs at all! I just got my chickens in January and had a hen that refused to be anything but broody. I finally got her sitting well on the dummy eggs so switched her over to 9 to sit on and as far as I can tell, she is sitting tight like a good momma should. My questions are: 1. Those of you who let broodys hatch their eggs, do you ever candle them? Or do you just leave her alone do her thing? 2. If you do candle, when? 3. Once the eggs hatch, how long does momma stay in with the chicks? 4. How do you keep the momma hen out of the chick food and the chicks out of momma's food? 5. How old do you grow the chicks out to before you put them in with the general population? 6. Oh and my general population of birds is very skittish around me... is there anything that I can do to make these chickens more friendly? I hate having to chase them down every time I need to band one. (to keep track of who is who. My entire flock consists of domineckers so they all look exactly the same except for one who has decided to be different and have white legs.) The way I have the broody house/pen area set up the birds will be able to see each other, just not get to each other so they won't be complete strangers. I have little roosts set up in the enclosed area about 2" and 4" up from the ground just in case they want them later. Thanks for all the help, this has been a huge adventure so far. Momma hen sees me poke my head around the corner to check on her and she makes this low pitched noise at me, I assume that's a good thing?