Every time I went to check for eggs one of my Buff Orpingtons was sitting in the same nest.
At least that’s what I figured out after about three days of it. Same hen. Same nest.
I would collect her egg and she wouldn’t leave. She was also more vocal and protective of her spot, making a guttural croaking sound whenever I got near and pecking at my hand when I felt for the egg. Just one little peck, but they usually don’t bother.
It dawned on me that she had “gone broody.”
She fluffs her feathers up and crouches down on her nest all day. When I pick her up and put her out in the chicken yard she sits there for a few moments, as if she were in a trance. Some of the Australorps pick on her, sensing something different about her.
Most people who don’t want to hatch out any chicks want to get that hen off the nest and back to business.
The most common techniques involve separating her from nests, nesting material, and places where she can get warm and cozy. Putting them in cages where air can circulate around them is also key, apparently. Some even dunk them in water. I’m not going to try that.
I’m not sure what the harm is in broodiness besides the fact that she has stopped laying, except I heard one person say their hen died from lack of food and water. Anyone hear of that?
So she continues her futile vigil on her imaginary eggs and I keep putting her outside a couple of times a day to make sure she gets a little sustenance. I hope when her 21 days is up, if not sooner, she gets back with the program.