Broody is a term I find less and less people understanding when used in conversation about farm animals. Talk about your broody teen and people understand, broody hens though seem to be a mystery. With the look I receive after the statement "I've got a hen gone broody" I often wonder what runs through the mind behind the look. Do they see hens sitting in thoughtful silence? I guess that wouldn't be too far from the truth. I do find it a bummer to have to define broody every time I use it, though there must have been a time when I too displayed that look.
I have had hens go broody before, or decide they want to set on eggs till they hatch, but every time I do I get anxious. Wanting them to be in this other pen, or want to get the other chickens out of the pen, or worry that the chicks will break their little chick necks falling from the nest. So I have to pull myself from mothering the mother, and take a breath. The lesson we all should learn at some point in farming, and life for that matter is "LEAVE THE MOTHERS ALONE!". Now there are some points in which we do step in to either save the mother or baby, but I think this should happen as little as possible. If things can't progress on their own there is most likely a reason, and you will probably pay the piper for interfering. This is a symptom of the helping culture we encourage. Help to the point of hurt. I know whats better for you, here let me do it for you so nothing bad happens.
Funny how insightful a broody chicken can be...
Born in New Hampshire and raised in Maine, Eva's passion for living self sustainably began with Helen and Scott Nearing. Both were homesteaders who carved their lives from the land. Eva now lives in Eastern West Virginia, with her husband Dain and daughter Shayna, carving out her own life.