Well, I knew it would probably happen sooner than later–one of my 5 hens has gone “broody.” Broody means that they want to sit on eggs like they are going to hatch. Basically, she’s being a good baby mama, but there ain’t any babies. (You have to have a rooster to have babies, and I don’t have one.) The interesting thing is that she hasn’t actually laid any eggs. In fact, with the record setting heat here in Central TX, my ladies have slowed their egg production way down–they’ve only laid about 4 eggs this week (I usually get 4 eggs per day).
I was thinking that maybe she was egg-bound, which I checked for, but didn’t feel anything. She seems to be eating and drinking ok (when I remove her from the nesting box to do so), so I don’t think she’s sick. And because I’ve eliminated these possibilities and because she just wants to sit in the nesting box, I’ve concluded that she has in fact gone broody. I’ve read that I can separate her from the flock to “break the spell”, but not sure I want to do that.
Why do hens go broody you ask? Well, it’s a biological. Many hybrid and production layers (the hens that lay supermarket eggs, for example) have had the broodiness bred out of them since they won’t be raising babies.
Some people with broody hens find fertilized eggs for the hen to incubate and then raise the chicks. Maybe I should give that a thought…