My young bantam hen just began laying a couple of months ago. She is a barnyard mix, her father was a golden sebright and her mother was an Old English Game Bantam. I have been noticing that she has been spending more time than usual in the nest boxes, and ever since Friday, March 13th, my hen has shown all the signs of broodiness, sleeping on the nest, growling at me and biting my hand when I get too close, etc. Currently she seems satisfied sitting on two golf balls but I check everyday to be sure she didn't add any real eggs to her clutch. I could use a few more layers in my flock, but I do have a couple of concerns. Last July I had a broody golden sebright hatch and raise two chicks. I separated her nest inside of a dog crate on cinder blocks in the coop and she was an amazing mother. Everyday I opened the door to the cage and only closed it at night time (to prevent my curious hens from disrupting her). The experience was amazing for both my hen and myself, and I feel like it brought us closer in many ways. However, ever since she went broody, it started an out of control mite infestation that took months to get rid of, seven dust finally did the trick, but the mites costed me a lot of frustrations and they even contributed to the death of one of my best layers. The mites are gone now, but I am wondering how to keep them from coming back, especially now since I have another broody. What is the best way to prevent the onset of a mite infestation in a broody hen? My new broody hen is a rescue and came from a bad situation, she is very skittish and raising her own babies may be just what she needs. I wouldn't mind adding a couple standard sized chicks to my flock (I'm thinking maybe a couple Easter Eggers). How long should I wait before I give her chicks? As of today, she has been sitting strong for 5 days or so. How many full sized chicks can a bantam hen handle? Thank you.