We didn’t have a great experience hatching out chicks last month. We lost the two chicks that did finally hatch out and haven’t tried hatching out more chicks yet. However, our boys informed us that two of our hens went “broody”. The boys know how to spot this sort of thing… It is when a hen starts to sit continually on her nest of eggs. She becomes more irritable, makes different chicken sounds, fluffs her feathers out when sitting on her nest. She pulls her own feathers from her breast to keep her eggs warmer.
When the boys noticed some “broody” signs one of their hens was displaying while she was sitting on some golf balls, they separated out this hen from the rest of the flock and put her in a nesting box in a chicken tractor all by herself with some hay and a clutch of real eggs. They moved her at night so that she wouldn’t run back to her nest of golf balls.
Broody hens are amazing. They sit on that nest all day long, only leaving once a day for about 15 minutes to get a drink of water and eat. All the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day…she is sitting…keeping her eggs warm and gently turning them. 21 days later…she hatches out chicks. She continues her broodiness by protecting them and training them how to eat and drink. It is truly amazing how God designed the hen!
On day 21, we were all anxiously awaiting to find out if chicks would hatch or not. Sure enough, all that day, we kept seeing cute little chicks peeking out from under our beloved Fluffy Feet – the faithful mother hen of our flock.
She hatched out 11 healthy, thriving chicks! We have one more broody hen sitting on a clutch of 14 eggs which should hatch out in the next day or so.