Is the time frame the same for hatching under a hen as it is in an incubator? I have read all the incubator hatching posts and I think I have that time frame understood but I am not sure if it is the same for a hen hatching.
I am at 20 days since she started sitting full time. She sat on the eggs for a couple of days but not all the time before she started sitting full time. Is there anything I need to be watching for over the next week? Also our temps have been very high, in the 90's, will that have any effect on the hatching? Sophia seems to be doing good even though it has been extremely hot and she doesn't seem to be coming out very often for drinks, that I have seen at least.
As she nears the hatching date she will get off the eggs less frequently, and for shorter periods. You could put her food and water near her, and even offer her a dish of wet cool greens in the heat of the day, she'd probably appreciate them. You could even add some electrolytes to her water. You might want to add marbles or stones to the rim of waterer just in case some keets hatch before you notice it, you don't want them hatching then drowning in the water!
The high temps may speed up the hatch a little. She probably won't let you, but if you can candle the eggs around day 24/25 you may be able to get a better idea how close to hatch they are, looking at the air cells to see if they've started slanting yet, and also look for internal pipping and the keet's mass/shadow within the air cell area, like I described for Kyle in a recent post.
Her food and water is right outside the dogloo. I have been afraid to put food in the dogloo because of ants, afraid ants will go inside the dogloo and get in her nest.
So far I have a few "issues" with this process (surprise, surprise). First should I start counting from the day she started sitting at all or the day she started sitting full time. Next, will our humidity hinder the eggs? We have high humidity, declining during the day, and then rising again during the afternoon/evening. Next, Lacey had started a nest next to Sophia and Sophia has confiscated all of those eggs and pulled them under her. I have read that most likely once the eggs start hatching the hen will probably abandon the rest of the eggs. If Lacey goes broody should I put any unhatched eggs under her?
With her food and water being right in front of the dogloo there's no way for me to sneak in and candle any of the eggs, so I have no clue if any are developing or even if any were even fertile. I am just praying that after everything we have gone through to get to this point, we get at least a couple of keets. I would hate to see Sophia suffer through this grueling heat and end up with no keets.
And as always, all the help I get here is very much appreciated.