I want to have a flock where broody hens raise the chicks, so that I don't have to use an incubator. With my first flock of chickens- a combination of hatchery birds and feral hens gathered from this rural region's treetops at night- I had broody hens hatching out huge numbers of chicks. I never had to help in any way. Now, I have Dorkings & Delawares. I want to have lots of chicks and I'm having lots of problems. I'd like to have chicks starting in early Spring. They don't start going broody until mid to late summer. We have extremely hot summers here. Only a few hens go broody, only some of the Dorking hens, and these hens are the ones that I'd like to cull for poor type & defects. I have tried gathering eggs from the desirable hens and putting them under the broody hen. The broody hen will toss out or eat many of the eggs. I think she lays more of her own to sit on. They will never set on eggs in the nest boxes in the coop, where I want them. One hen went broody among the straw bales, covered by a tarp, outside where it would not have been safe from predators. When I moved her and her eggs, she quit setting and has not gone broody again this year. Another hen made a nest in our storage barn. I left her there. Other hens were going in to her nest and laying more eggs. I covered her with a cage. One chick hatched. I waited 2 days, then took off the cage. She left the nest. I had two other broody hens who tried setting in nest boxes. The other hens kept going in to lay more eggs. The eggs got dirty. Both of these hens hatched out single chicks. One chick was killed, I think by other hens. I've never had this happen before. I took the hen whose chick was killed and put her in a large dog crate with another batch of eggs. She's been sitting on those, has not kicked any out or eaten any. The problem with this is that she has to poop in the crate and that's piling up. Those eggs are due to hatch in 8 more days. Last month, I tried to convince some of the nicer Dorking hens to go broody. I made a semi secluded nest on the floor of their coop. I put a dozen eggs in the nest and waited. Some pullets added their eggs. A hen started setting on these eggs, 24 days ago. The eggs are dirty and are starting to smell. I've taken 4 eggs out to see what was inside. 3 were green. 1 had an almost full term chick inside. This hen is so determined, I hate to pull her off the nest. There's no chance any of these eggs are good, is there? I don't think that it would be healthy for her, for me to try to give her more eggs in another nest. It would be ideal for me to have broody coops that are larger than a dog crate, but I don't have those, yet. What can I do, in the mean time, to have successful broody hatches? Thanks!