|A sneaky broody hen taking a quick break|
A broody hen goes into a state not unlike hibernation. Her metabolism slows down, so she doesn't need to eat as much. She's very quiet and once she's well into the incubation period. she won't peck at me if I slip a hand under her to check on the eggs.
A truly determined broody hen will continue sitting on a nest even if you take the eggs away, and she may even starve to death trying to hatch out non-existent chicks. I've read about many ways to discourage such hens and get them to start laying again, but I've never had any of these methods succeed. Two of my hens are seriously broody right now.
I really don't want lots of chicks, and especially not in the spring. Chicks born in the spring, when the ravens are also hatching out their own, hungry families, don't last very long at my place. I try not to allow my hens to hatch any chicks until after the raven chicks have fledged and their parents have taken them elsewhere to hunt. However, I've given in to my two hens now. They are more stubborn than I am.
|The gosling's pen|
|The white hen on her nest|