Last year I had a broody who was a fantastic mother to 5 adopted chicks. She has been broody again since last month, so I decided to get her a few chicks. I got 3 chicks, snuck them under her at night, and checked on them in the morning. All was well, with all 3 snuggled up under her, and she was fluffed up and happy. The next morning (Wednesday), I found one dead--uninjured (that I could tell), just dead in the nest. The day after that (Thursday), another one was dead. I have food and water right next to the nest box, which has very low sides, and I know that last year the hen got the chicks out of the box to eat and drink. Yesterday, since I haven't seen her do that this time, I got her and the remaining chick out of the box, and dipped the chick's beak in the water. I moved the nest box a little to make space for them on the floor of the coop by the food so the little one might eat and drink if mama isn't helping. When I checked on them later, the hen was back in the nest box, and the little one was on the outside. I decided to bring it in the house, but it died last night while I held it. I have a couple of ideas: The chicks were from the flea market, and super tiny. Maybe they weren't well to start out with. What I really think is that the hen was waiting for more. How many does a hen need? She accepted the chicks, but kept getting back in the box like she was incubating eggs, and was more focused on the box than the living chicks. I feel awful that I didn't take them after the first one died, but since she seemed to accept them I left them alone. I'm afraid I left them to starve and dehydrate. One more thing: For a little while before the chick died, it was laying down, leaning its head back, and opening and closing its beak. It wasn't making any noise. I don't know what that means. Was it sick? Dehydrated? This is a little long, and I can't help the chickies now, but I would just like to know what happened. And I guess I'll have to break that broody. Any opinions would be appreciated!