On the subject of broodies, my barnyard hens simply brood wherever they choose (as long as it's not out by the fence or something!). They hatch the chicks and protect them, and there has never been any problem from the rest of the flock. I guess because that's how my grandparents did it, I didn't consider anything else. My actual breeding stock, however, is separated by pairs or trios. One white rock hen hatched 16 chicks, watched over them, and didn't lose any--sold all 16 when they were a little older. That's one of them in my avatar. They wanted to roost on the top of the pen but couldn't quite make it on their own. Varmint was quite gentle and didn't mind being used as a stepping stone.