Hi guys, I'm new on the forum (although I've been visiting backyardchickens ever since we got our first flock!).
We recently built a new coop for our hens, with nice straw-lined nesting boxes where they are laying. But in the last two days I've noticed one of the hens found a shady private spot where she sits without stirring practically all day, and doesn't even come to the coop at night. Is it possible she decided to set up a nest there? So far there are no eggs, but she just sits on that spot. Some of the other hens came to pick on her, and still she doesn't move, just fluffs up her feathers and sits there like a great feathery ball.
I know this season is right for brooding. The chooks we have are not pure-breed, but that one is supposed to be mostly Brahma, and I've been told they tend to go broody. Actually we've been trying to hatch chicks ever since the weather got warmer, but none of our other hens sat on the eggs for more than an hour. Currently we have a clutch of eggs which might still be good for hatching, and if we have a broody hen, we'd love to get her to sit on them.
1) Is it possible that the hen decided to set up a nest of her own outside the coop? I've noticed she has the lowest place in the coop hierarchy.
2) The spot the hen chose is obviously unsafe; she sits on the ground and is exposed to predators. If we move her into the coop and try and get her to sit on the eggs of the other chickens, can it work?