I have black australorp hens and rooster. Recently, one of the hens went broody so I decided to let her handle the eggs this time. She had 8 eggs, 6 of them hatched. All was good. About 2 days later, when she left the coop to feed and water herself, I checked the chicks - 2 were dead in the nest, the other 4 were fine. I assumed they must have been weak hatchlings. This morning, 3 more were dead. Only 1 remains alive. I have raised chicks myself a number of times successfully, but never had a hen brood with so much dedication so I wanted her to take on the responsibility of raising her chicks. But, even though she is nesting with them, and the nest is plenty large enough - she has managed to kill almost all of them. Anyone else experience this? *CAN* hens raise their own broods like wild birds?? (How did chickens ever make it this far without humans keeping them alive???) Thanks!