Cocchineal for eggs and fostering orphan chicks

Hi, I have 8 Isa brown hens, mostly aged birds. The fox keeps popping in and takes one or two so today I am getting quotes for a safer run when I let them out to graze the paddock.

I am looking to get a couple of hens that will go broody and put some fertile eggs under them. This way I don't have to have a rooster. I will get roosters from the babies but we will eat them before they get too big. I can also have lots of different chooks.
I would like to keep a couple of pigs one day to fatten up but am still getting used to living on 2 acres, coming only 4 months ago from the suburbs.
I did look into a couple of sheep to fatten but they were too expensive. Cheaper to buy dressed lamb from the local butcher.
So that's me.

A couple of questions.
A friend told me her mother used to put cochineal )( the red food colouring made from beetles) into the water of her hens to keep their egg shells hard. Does anyone know if this works?

Also can you put day old chicks under a broody hen and will she accept them?

cheers
Dayla

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