I too am very new to this, having had a wild young female fly into my kitchen exhausted and ragged After getting her strength back, I decided to keep her, and having read that they are sociable found a bigger cage and a male partner. I was unprepared when within 2 weeks she started laid an egg on the cage floor. I read the section on breeding in my new book, and provided a nest and nesting materials. First batch was 8 eggs of which 3 were broken. I had provided grit and cuttlefish for calcium.
They put together a nest lining and sat for a few days, mostly the male, but appeared to get bored, and sat less and less preferring to play. After a week they weren’t even sleeping in the nest I removed the eggs after 15 days and they were cold .
Next day she started laying another clutch of 7 eggs over about12 days. These they hardly sat on at all and again I removed the after 11 days. Straight away she started laying again, 5 but no sitting and they stripped the nest lining.
i saw the advice on not allowing more than 4 clutches a year and am at a loss how to prevent this, short of separating them completely.
Grateful for any advice on how to handle this so the hen doesn’t become exhausted.