Olive is still brooding on her one little egg. After great deliberation as to whether to seclude her in a cage within the coop or leave her and her egg where they are, I decided to pose the question to the fanciers on Backyard Chickens Forum. I was inclined to leave her where she was unless there was a problem, and those who responded to my question agreed. I was advised to leave her in place, perhaps placing a piece of cardboard in front of the entrance on hatch day so that the chick cannot fall inadvertently out of the nest. They said that she would rest most of hatch day with her chick and that I could move her down to one of the lower nests later. So, that is what I will do. Then, if I observe a problem with the other members of the flock, I will bring out the cage for them.
In the meantime, Olive has been getting more and more serious about this. Tuesday morning, she didn’t even come out to eat scratch in the morning with the others. When she didn’t show again on Wednesday, I was concerned and so I lifted her down and set her on the step outside. She sat there for a bit, fluffed up and trilling, and then shot off to eat, drink, and poop as I had hoped. Even so, she was back on her egg in about five minutes.
Her comb looks a bit dry and somewhat paler, and the feathers on her back are stuck together a bit – she is not preening herself. Still, all of this is normal broody behavior. Generally, she seems to be doing pretty well. I candled her egg again last night, which I think was Day 13, and all is well. However, I think I have decided that I will not candle a broody’s eggs again. As I was putting the egg back under her, she pecked it. I think it was because she was disturbed and anxious, and perhaps confused with the bright light. I checked the egg and saw no sign of damage – the peck wasn’t even very hard – so I think it will be just fine as we are already so far along.
With such a large chick at this point and the egg being green-shelled, you can’t see much of anything at 13 days, but that means the chick has continued to develop.