Much to our surprise we were met with a very unfriendly chicken a few weeks ago in the chicken coop. Usually all our chickens are very sweet and well behaved. They run up to you for treats, but aren't aggressive or grouchy. At first we thought maybe the hen was staying in her nesting box because she was trying to get an egg out but couldn't. That is called being "egg bound" and a few of our chickens have experienced it. We tried to make her move a little to see how she responded, but she wouldn't budge. We tried harder to nudge her off the nest of eggs she was sitting on, and she made it clear she wasn't moving without a fight. Her feathers fluffed up, she started making all kinds of weird noises at us, and she tried to peck us with her beak. Then we realized she was broody!
We first noticed it on June 27th, so our tentative hatch date is July 18th!! Normal incubation lasts for about 21 days. We are SO eggcited!! We have been talking about buying more chicks this year, but it just seems like we have too much planned this summer to brood chicks. Hopefully she is a good chicken mama. Sometimes mama hens take great care of their chicks and sometimes they murder them. (Chickens are weird, right?!) We will start spending a lot more time around the coop starting on the 18th in an effort to be there when they hatch so we can see how the mama chicken reacts to her baby chicks.
The mom is a Buff Orpington breed of chicken and the dad is either a Buff Orpington or a Rhode Island Red rooster. Our hen decided to go broody shortly after we removed the roosters from the coop. Roosters have been known to kill chicks, so maybe this is what caused our hen to go broody. A mixture of hormones and instincts tell a hen when to try and raise chicks. Cross your fingers all goes well with our chick hatching in a few weeks and we will share all the cute pictures with you as soon as we have them!!