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Mama Hen

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We have 5 Buff Brahmas, and we have to constantly shoo them off of eggs. Once, when we were missing a hen, I searched and found her over a clutch of 18 eggs.

Well, it's happened again, missing hen, and we found her over another clutch of eggs, not sure how many this time. Since it's nearly chick time anyway, we are allowing her to stay on this batch.

The only problem is that she won't eat or drink, even when offered directly. I can't imagine she can last 21 days like this. Any suggestions?

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Location: zone 6b
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They do sneak off the nest when nobody's likely to be around to quickly gobble some food and get a drink. If you want reassurance, you can leave a bit of food and water nearby but the other hens may just take it.

I'd mark the eggs she's on with a pencil, because the other hens may add eggs, which won't hatch in time and may mean some of the good ones wind up out in the cold for too long, lowering your hatch success.

Congrats on the free chicks!
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