I've looked over a lot of broody hen articles on here and they were helpful, but a few of my questions weren't addressed.
We have 14 Black Austalorp pullets that are about 7 months old, and no roosters. One of the hens is broody, although she'll give up and get out of the coop once you take the eggs from under her (if she doesn't peck you too badly first:)
We weren't planning on having chicks yet, but I'm pretty sure she has stopped laying so I either need to break her or get her some eggs to hatch.
1) Do most hens mother/raise the chicks after hatching or would I need to have a brooding station set up? I'd much prefer not to raise the chicks myself.
I've also posted on other threads about them having lice from when I got them off Craigslist, and I haven't seen any lice alive in over a month, but the nits are still there, even though we've dusted with Poultry Dust 3 weeks in a row. I really think the nits got smothered in coconut oil the first day that I sprayed (and bathed them in Neem oil). The hens don't preen excessively anymore, (most of) their bottoms are cleaner and I don't see as much diarrhea as when I found the lice a month ago. None of them ever stopped laying because of it, but their bottoms are still very nit covered, which collects poo.
2) Should I not allow her to hatch chicks if she still has nits?
3) For those who isolate hens for hatching, (and I would have to because it's a big fight for one nest box each day and they all pile in on top of her) do you let the hen out of a garage/barn area to use the bathroom and then hope she comes back to the broody area/put her back on the nest?
4) For those of you who use a broody breaker (wire cage/hutch) in a separate area, how do you handle the poop, just place newspaper down below the pen?
Thank you for your help