And she is broody hen…always broody…
What’s a broody hen? A broody hen just means that she wants to hatch her eggs. Most times a chicken will lay her eggs and then be on her way doing chicken stuff, but there are times when a hen gets the hankerin’ to have babies, and that hanker is strong. Just like a woman’s desire to have a baby can be strong, it’s the same with chickens.
A broody hen is not particularly picky about whose eggs she hatches, it doesn’t matter to her, she just wants babies. She may sit on her own or if she sees a nest with unattended eggs she’ll sit on those. During this broody season a hen will not get up and roam around, and will only get up a to eat or drink a few times a day. Another fun fact is that a broody hen will not lays eggs during this time. She already has her hands full so why add to the pressure right?
As I said earlier, Hazel is a Buff Orpington. They are one of the top brooding breeds which means she is broody a lot. I can always tell when she is headed into this season because she will give a continual, soft, clucking sound and scurries around in a frantic state.
For more than a year I have been hinting to Mr. wonderful that I want to let her hatch some eggs, using such phrases as:
“Hazel is broody again, maybe we should let her hatch some”
“I wish we could hatch some eggs”
“Wouldn’t it be fun to hatch some eggs?”
“I’ve always wanted to let’s some eggs hatch”
“Poor Hazel needs some babies”
“I want some babies”
“Lynne let’s her chickens have babies all the time”
Then Mr. wonderful would answer back with:
….silence. Hoping I might just drop it. Or with…
“We don’t need any more chickens”
“…no more chickens”
“It too cold to hatch in the winter”
“It’s too hot to hatch in the summer”
“The signs aren’t right to hatch babies right now”
“The other chicken will kill them”
“We don’t need chicks”
“farmers almanac says it’s not a good time”…blah blah blah
So, last week, when I saw that Hazel was broody again, I marched right in the house and declared with great authority, “Hazel is broody again and I’m going to let her hatch some eggs!” Mr. Wonderful sat in his chair, as cool and calm as ever. I waited for a negative response or some insane reason about the son, moon and stars needing to be in alignment…but nothing. Later that evening, after rolling my declaration around in his head for a while, he said, “if you’re going to hatch some eggs, switch out her eggs and have her hatch some green eggs so they’ll all be full blood Americanas. We also need to check the Farmers Almanac to see if the signs are right for hatchin'”
Here we go, I thought, now he’s going to make this otherwise easy process, complicated. “Farmers Almanac?” I asked, “Why do we need to check a book before we hatch eggs? Did Noah have to do that on the Ark?” With a hint of frustration in his voice, he replied, “it’s just better to hatch in the right signs” while he was thumbing through his book, all I could think was, what if it’s not the right signs? What then, huh? Do I go over and tell Hazel, “I’m sorry Hazel, but you’re gonna have to get up, the stars are telling us this is not a good time for you to have babies.” About that time Mr. Wonderful burst through my thought bubble and said, “you’re in luck, according to the signs, today is the perfect day”. I immediately grabbed my egg basket and headed to the hen-house.
On a side note, I’m not sure whose hands/feet look worse, Hers or mine? Yikes! Those look like the hands of a hundred year old corps! Anyway…
Here’s a short video of her sitting. She sounds mean but she is very sweet and never pecks. You can also hear her low clucking.
She began sitting on Good Friday. It takes 21 days for them to hatch so April 23rd, if all goes well, We will have my new baby chicks! I’ll defiantly keep you posted on the progress.
Thanks for stopping by! I love you more than Chapstick 😉