I'm new to this website; just joined about 45 minutes ago. I currently only have one chicken and I need a bit of help. In about February, my flock of nine hens were killed by a dog. Two days later, we found one surviving chicken, our Ameraucana, who had spent the two nights following her comrades' passing in a snowy field with no shelter in the midst of a midnight snowstorm. She was dehydrated, starving, and was in shock. She had been at the bottom of the pecking order. For the next few weeks, she didn't do anything except sit on her wooden perch in the coop. A couple months later, in April, she laid her first egg. She's a year old, so we thought she didn't have it in her because our previous hens had started laying after about three or four months. She hasn't gone through any broody stages yet, and we wanted to get a few chicks. We aren't sure if we should have our chicken raise them, however. She used to sleep on her perch, but now she sleeps on her eggs, which we've begun to leave in her nest in hopes that she'll become broody. She seems to have an interest in hatching her unfertilized eggs, but doesn't quite meet the broody-chicken requirements. She sits in her little run ( We have her in a small-dog proofed run with a hen house for now until we finish the bigger one) in the dirt from about 1:30- 4:00, the rest of the time spent in her nest. Whenever I walk out there, she immediately crouches as if I'm a rooster about to mount her as soon as she spots me, even if I'm fifty feet away. (I've never noticed this behavior in any of my chickens before) To get to the point, I was wondering if it's possible to switch out her eggs for chicks sometime soon, even if she's not super broody? You know, the classic exchange of chicks for eggs in the dead of night. We don't have to worry about the other hens peckig at the chicks, I'm just worried how my chicken will react. We're going to try to help her get broody, by turning off the heating lamp in her house. (We have one in there because it helps her lay eggs...) I just plan on getting chicks within the next two weeks. I would appreciate some advice on what to do. Sorry for the super long story, I'm just really torn on if I should give letting my hen raise chicks a shot, or if I should do it like the past three times I've done it and raise them away from the older hens.