This is our RI Red's first time being broody, and our first experience with hatching eggs. We have 2 NH Reds, 2 RI Reds, and she was the only one who got broody! She ended up with 16 eggs (from them all), after pushing a couple out of the nest. From the day she sat full time till hatch day was exactly 21 days. Out of the 16 eggs, we have 9 live chicks. 5 eggs did not hatch (maybe they were too old/cold by the time she got broody - we did have some freezing nights). One chick looks weak and I don't know if it will survive. 7 chicks are energetic and aggressive. (Today is day #23) Two things surprised me. One was that when I moved her nest today, because I moved her & chicks to their own apartment in the dog crate to keep the chicks safe from the other hens/rooster, I found 2 dead chicks in her nest. I'm thinking she must have smothered them, but maybe they were just too weak to survive? Do mother hens often end up smothering their chicks? The other surprise was a chick that was stuck in its shell. Its legs were out just find and moving around, but its upper torso appeared stuck like glue to the inside of the egg. My 9 yr. old, who is braver than I, peeled the shell off the chick, and then I patted it with a moistened paper towel to get the really stuck parts. UGH. I thought for sure it would not survive, but so far it has fluffed up some and peeps up a storm. Tonight the chicks will have to sleep under mom in order not to freeze because it's in the 40s out there, and the late bloomer will have to be able to keep under the hen and not be pushed out by the others. I hope it survives the night. It seems like a fighter. But anyway, I thought that was weird - that a chick would get stuck to its own shell and not be able to hatch completely. One other thing is that when we put them to bed tonight in their new dog crate home (with hay and wood shavings, and tarped completely for the night, with duct tape for breeziness or even critters), it seemed she was having a hard time finding room for 9 chicks under her, plus one unhatched egg that she's still thinking might hatch (I threw the rest out today). The chicks were giving her a run for her money. Poking out every which way, complaining loudly if they were out in the cold, diving back under her only to have one pushed out the other side, complaining. I feel sorry for her trying to get any sleep tonight! Our RI Red is inexperienced, and so are we. But she took the 7 strong ones for a walk today and showed them how to scratch, peck, and showed them a short dust bath. She seemed really happy to teach them all this, they even ate some bugs, and some of them were watching her intently! Any thoughts on hens smothering newly hatched chicks, or chicks stuck half-way in shells?