I have seven hens (2 buffs, 3 reds, 2 barred rocks) and a red rooster. My goal is to hatch chicks naturally, but I'm not opposed to using an incubator this year if that fails. My chickens are coming up on two years old so I want at least a few new ones this year. I want to learn how to facilitate the perpetuation of the flock I have, the old fashioned way. I read up on here last year and tried isolating one of the buffs in a large dog crate inside the coop when she was sitting. Didn't work well for her and no chicks out of several that were fertilized when I candled them. I'm going to try letting a broody hen sit in the bottom nesting box right on the floor this year, not isolated. Any help is much appreciated, but my first question is: When is it warm enough to let them start sitting? I'm in SE Mass and we've still got low temps and the potential for nasty weather this year. One of the buffs has already been spending time in the box, I've just been taking the eggs.