My copper black hen Houdini went broody a few weeks ago, we ordered her 6 eggs to incubate. I was rather excited by the prospect of a hen escorting her chicks around the allotment. Alas, the experiment failed. We made the mistake of putting the eggs in a nest box in one of the henhouses. It turned out to be too busy. One egg disappeared, another was broken. So with a week to go before hatching was due, we took Houdini and her eggs out of the henhouse and to the backgarden where we put them all into a box. Within half an hour she had gone missing and we had to switch on the incubator as an emergency measure.
Houdini turned up the next day wandering around the lane at the back of the house. I returned her to the allotment. The eggs in the incubator unfortunately never hatched. Lessons have been learnt - if we want to try this again, we need a special nest box and run in the back garden where the hen will not be disturbed by others.