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Thought I posted this earlier, but don't see it anywhere. Chicks are 10 days old today. Mom has been with them in the nest box every night since day one. This evening, she's taking the night off. She hasn't been back in the nest box for about 4 hours now (8:00PM to 12:00AM). Is that normal?
 

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The pair may be getting ready to start another nest. Some do that this early, some wait longer. I had a pair who raised the babies to weaning together. Most do start another nest when the babies are a couple or few weeks old, and the Dad will go back to feed them till weaned. Sometimes the male will stay in the box with them over night, but not always.
 

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The pair may be getting ready to start another nest. Some do that this early, some wait longer. I had a pair who raised the babies to weaning together. Most do start another nest when the babies are a couple or few weeks old, and the Dad will go back to feed them till weaned. Sometimes the male will stay in the box with them over night, but not always.
Thanks again, Jay. I did notice dad was feeding the chicks today, and was in the nest box with them a couple of other times. We're going to start removing the eggs and replacing them with dummy eggs. Until I can build a bigger loft, we don't want any more chicks. Will this negatively affect them (sitting on dummy eggs to no avail)? We'll remove them after 20 days +/-, or when they stop sitting on them.
 

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It may frustrate them a bit, I'm sure. But many do it. I do it. I hate to, but I do. Otherwise you would have too many birds. You are actually taking better care of the birds you already have by not letting them get over crowded. So just explain to them that you are doing it for them. That's what I do. LOL. I don't remove them till they are tired of sitting on them and either kick them out, or just stop sitting on them. Eventually, they may lay eggs right beside the fake ones, so you have to keep an eye on them. They're sneaky that way. Let them sit on them as long as they want. Some of mine sit way longer than 20 days. Guess they just don't want to give up hope. But at least it is giving the female a break from laying while they do that.
 
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