I don't think I'm cut out for this chicken business....er hobby.... Friend of mine built a 5-nest box "apartment" for me and we mounted it in the carport of the building on my property. The girls loved it, and started laying eggs. Gooooood. Figured it would be excellent for collecting eggs, thought it was too open for a broody hens. Ha ha, joke is on me...almost 4 weeks ago a barred rock hen started sitting on eggs. Stayed put. Always there. A white hen would come in, lay an egg in the adjoining box, leave. I thought we wouldn't have any babies, as at BR hen sat for so long with no hatchings. Then a few days ago, the BR hen was off the eggs, but the white hen was sitting them! The barred rock was over in the next-door box. Yesterday, I heard peeps under the white hen and saw little faces peeking out from under her. Today, I wanted to get the hen and chicks out of the nest box and into a "chicken jail" in the yard. I used a towel and covered her/lifted her out--moved her to the pen in the yard. There were 5 babies there, 1 black, 1 yellow, 3 gray. The white hen is all hunkered down in the jail, babies under her. She's not moving at all. She did eat when I put food + baby scratch right beside her. She made the chicken clucking noises. But, she's not up/walking around at all. She appears fine and pecked at me several times. She also pecked at the babies a few times, but is letting them scoot underneath her. Here's my question(s)....it seems that neither of these hens think these are her babies. I've never seen a momma peck at newbies. Is the white hen broody and thinks she's on eggs?? and just tolerating the babies? By the way, I took a baby over to the BR hen and she pecked at me and the baby. I left the white hen w/ chicks under her. Alot of food and water, nest box w/ straw. Any insights is much appreciated. Update on the four ophans (previous post)...they're now 26 days old, growing like weeds, eating, scratching, flapping wings, jumping up on top of their nest box, acting very chicken like.