It seems my hens are horrible about hatching their own eggs. I've lost about 10 chicks right after they've hatched this year - some are still wet and others have dried off, but most of the time when I find them they have been pecked at. I've only had 4 hatch and live to be removed for fear they would die if left there, and 2 of those 4 lived. 1 died by accident (darn kids...) and the other that died had a red "thing" coming out it's vent. The chicks aren't dying inside the egg, although I did have 2 that died due to being shrink wrapped during a heat wave, most are able to hatch out of the egg, then just die and I can't figure out why. When I incubate eggs, everyone turns out fine and well, but if I leave a broody hen alone, the chicks die before I have a chance to save them - what's happening? Someone suggested to me that hens have lost the instinct after years of people incubating and not letting the hens "do their job" so to speak. I let my hens do as they wish, if they go broody, I let them have fertile eggs and wait. I mentioned that some of the chicks are pecked and have cuts or bite marks on them, but I have no way to determine if it's the broody hen or someone else. Should I separate the hens and their nests? Questions? Suggestions? I'm very disappointed and getting discouraged - I'd hate to not let my hens be mothers.