Broody – Natures Way

We have a broody hen! img_08791

This lovely puffed up Buff Orpington has decided she wants to be a mother hen. Which is a bit unusual given she is less than one year old, but hey, free chicks! If I let her which, I am, she will sit on the eggs until they hatch then take care of the babies.

How can you tell if a hen is broody? These days, with all the genetic tinkering, the chances of seeing a broody in the first place are slim. Because a broody hen is not laying eggs, the broody trait has been bred out of most of the more productive breeds. But if you have a heritage breed lingering in the nest a lot longer than usual for egg laying with a settled, Zen-like intensity, you might have a broody. If she’s hostile and puffy looking chances are even better. If she stays on the nest rather than going to roost at night, there’s an excellent chance she is broody. I decided this gal was definitely broody when I noticed she’d plucked all her chest feathers out, she’d been in the same nest box for 4 days, growled at me when I got too close, and picked a fight with a Rhode Island Red for no apparent reason.

While we have had chickens for 5 years, this is the first time we’ve had roosters, so it is a very exciting time at The Happy Pig. Hatch day should be March 24.

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