Well, I was all set to buy a couple of chicks this spring to replace the ones that got hunted last year when my SO suggested just letting the hens "do their own thing" instead of having chicks being raised in the house then trying to move them out and integrating them into the herd. Anyone done this? Our hens don't seem to have too much of the mothering instinct going for them- I've never seen them actually sitting on any of the eggs we collect. I know they won't really set until they have a few eggs- do the early laid eggs survive without being set on? I think we have to wait until later in the year so the poor eggs don't freeze from not being set on by the hen Any tips? How do I encourage them to be broody? They are laying again (yea!) but it is still awfully cold here (still going to have single digit nights).