I snuck out to check up on Mama Hen tonight after the girls went to bed. This morning, she was apparently out for coffee, when someone else moved in to her nest. She did the next best thing, and sat on another nest full of eggs. (This lady is determined!)
L and I shooed the impostor out, and after removing the fresh eggs, replaced Mama on her rightful nest. She was still there tonight, thank goodness!
This time, I took my flashlight along, and candled the 10 eggs that she has been incubating. I was able to see veining quite clearly in all of them but one, so it appears that we should get some chicks in another 2 weeks if all goes well.
The last egg was darkly speckled, and it was difficult to make out anything inside. I'll take another look next weekend. By then, we should be able to see the fetus inside!
By the way, I opened the 2 discarded eggs over the compost pile yesterday. I think that both of them may have been viable at one time, as there were "veins" attached to the inside of the shell of each of them, and a tiny blob of something was at the center of the "veins". Probably the eggs were knocked out in a squabble over the nest (she picked one of the favorites to inhabit, of course), and lacking hands, she was unable to put them back. I would rather be safe than sorry, but next time I might just try sticking them back under her. I still can't account for the 13th egg...it has disappeared completely!