Okay, be patient with me, I have never seen a hen raise chicks so I don't know what normal should be. I had two broody hens, and last week I unsuccesfully tried to give her four, day old chicks. When that failed I sent her back to the hen house, got the other broody hen, set up a nesting box in the seperate pen and let her be broody there. She has now been sitting on the nest in this location for a week, and broody for 16 days. So last night I waited until 8 PM, when she was asleep, and I slipped two of the now week old chicks under her. All seemed to go well, so after another hour I slipped the other two under her. Again they all seemed happy snuggled up under her, she making little clucking noises, and all you could see was an occaional head. This seemed like the way it should be. This morning at 6 AM they were still like that. Than my husband checked them at 10 AM, before work, and they were still all tucked away in the nesting box. When I came home from work at 6 PM I found the hen sitting in another location (like she was nesting), and the chicks running around and keeping away from her. She ignored them, and when they came close she would peck them hard and they would run away. This went on for some time, she did not chase the chicks, but she was very aggressive when they got near her, and they seemed to be afaid of her, and kept away. Than when it came time to put on the night heat lamp the chicks ran to the nesting box. The hen got in and pecked the heck out of them, and they ran out. But than a couple of minutes later I somehow startled the chicks, and they all ran back in the nesting box under the hen. Now they are all now tucked away and sleeping. It has been about an hour and all is calm out there. So is it normal for a hen to ignore her chicks for a while? Or peck them that dang hard, and chase them from the nesting box? I'm really confused. When the chicks are tucked under / around her they seem so happy, so I really want this to work. I'm confused.