Won’t leave nesting box

Denise0708

In the Brooder
Apr 2, 2020
21
6
13
Eggs take 21 days to incubate and hatch, assuming they are fertile. It's not uncommon to have them hatch on day 20 or 22 either. I generally move my broodies to their own pen while they sit. Every flock is different, every mama is different, I separate mine to avoid any drama and tragedies. She is calmer as no one is bothering her, the chicks are safe until they are big enough to know to get out of the others way. Usually the broody will be even more stuck to her nest just before hatch, she knows they are coming. If she is a first time mama, then she bears watching, just to make sure all goes well. Most of them do a very good job, occassionally you get a bad mom. Always a good idea to have a back up plan (brooder) just in case.
thank you! She will be a first time mama. She is also my little baby we have 8 chickens 1 rooster but she is my princess
 

Denise0708

In the Brooder
Apr 2, 2020
21
6
13
If there are other chickens in the same pen, they might lay eggs in the nest she's sitting on. This is a problem, because you do not want some chicks to hatch one day and some another and some a week later. The hen can sit on eggs, or she can take care of chicks, but she cannot do both at the same time. (One solution: take every egg she has, label them with a pencil so you can recognize them later, and give them back to the hen. Each day, remove any new eggs.)

If you want the hen to hatch eggs, it would be best if you arrange a private place for her that the other chickens can not get to. That could mean moving the hen to a nest in another pen (some hens will move, some refuse to sit in a new place.) Or it could mean arranging a temporary pen around her nest, so she's still in the same place but the other chickens cannot get in to bother her.

The hen needs enough space to get off the nest for eating, drinking, and pooping (and maybe a dust bath, although some hens are not willing to spend the time for that.)

When chicks do hatch, they usually stay under the mother for a day or so before doing much else. So if you needed to move the hen and chicks to a different pen after hatching, that could be a good time.

If you leave a hen and chicks in the pen with other chickens, the hen will try to keep the other chickens away from her babies. In a really large pen, that sometimes works fine. In a small pen there isn't enough space for them to stay "far enough" away, so you get problems.
thank you! One good thing then is that I know that all the eggs are the same day old. We had just took them out right before she started. I just can’t see what’s under her unless I move her and I feel bad moving her
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,059
6,796
406
USA
I just can’t see what’s under her unless I move her and I feel bad moving her
Moving her once every day or two should not cause a problem.

Some hens will get off to eat, but others won't--if she doesn't get off to eat, then you should take her off each day so she does eat. (And if she does get off to eat, you might be able to look then, if you learn when she likes to do it.)

You can tell if she's eating by feeling her crop: food in it means she did eat recently, empty means she did not.
 

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