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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 14th, 2010 2:40am (Jun 14th 2010)
    So we have the new mansion all built, BUT Livia and Sinead are still sitting on eggs in the little hutch, and little Lemon is making small high-speed forays into the outside world - well, run. So do I try to uproot sitting hens and baby, or wait until any more eggs have hatched? Would Lemon cope with getting down from the nestbox - and back up again? And how long do I wait for any more eggs to hatch, or do I let Livia and Sinead decide for themselves?
    • CommentTimeJun 14th, 2010 11:44pm (Jun 14th 2010) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Were the eggs all laid at the same time?
    How old is Lemon now?

    If the eggs were all laid at the same time, then the chicks will all have been due to hatch at the same time, too. I'd give the eggs three days after the last chick hatched, then turf the hens off the nest and either bin the eggs or crack them open.

    If you aren't sure the eggs were all laid at the same time, then eggs could be in numerous stages of development...I think all you can do in that case is wait for the full 21 days since the last egg has been laid...

    Does that mean Lemon doesn't get any time away from the nest because his mum is sitting on the eggs?

    Can you hear any cheaping when you go near the nest?

    I guess you could always try candling them...
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 15th, 2010 4:33pm (Jun 15th 2010)
    Some of the eggs were laid after Livia started sitting (by Sinead) but Livia just scooched them under her. I turfed them off the nest today to change the hay and bedding as it hasn't been done for ages and I was worried about little Lemon catching something. There are 3 eggs there, and both girls are taking turns to sit on them! Lemon has been out for gallops round with his mum and sister, and took a little turn round the lawn with Dad...
    I'll just keep waiting, i think. The girls will lose interest if they think the eggs aren't viable, won't they? Last time Livia suddenly came out with Sinead and turfed the 'dead' eggs out of the hutch.
    • CommentTimeJun 15th, 2010 5:16pm (Jun 15th 2010)

    Keeper of the hens

    They have an amazing ability to sense how many days they've been sitting on eggs, and if they are still viable or not (didn't Scarlet post something ages ago about the chicks inside the egg can communicate with the hen?), so I wouldn't give up hope yet.

    Obviously make sure the hatched chick is getting access to food and water, but it sounds like that's covered.

    I like the idea of the sisters taking it in turns to sit, how cool is that?!

    Congrats on your new baby(s) :-)
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 15th, 2010 6:31pm (Jun 15th 2010) edited
    Lemon is (almost) definitely a rooster, and seems to revel in having two mums! His wings are starting to go curly now...
    What about the new hen mansion - do i leave the house move until after Lemon and Sinead and any other progeny have gone to Wendy?
    • CommentTimeJun 15th, 2010 7:34pm (Jun 15th 2010) edited

    Keeper of the hens really depends on how far along any of the other eggs are, if they are fertile and viable...

    You can move the eggs without damaging the chicks up until about day 17 (for standard size chickens) and day 15 (in banties) but after that humans aren't supposed to touch them or interfere.

    I mean, the probability of you lifting the eggs and chickens from one nest to another and doing damage is unlikely, but it's up to you if you want to risk it. There's also the chance that moving the broodies will make them snap out of their behaviour, and they will give up on the remaining eggs.

    I think I'd leave them for a little while longer before moving them, just to be sure.
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 16th, 2010 5:23pm (Jun 16th 2010)
    I'm a great believer in letting nature do its only have to see out garden to see that! :tooth: