Spring’s in the air – at last – and lo and behold we have a broody hen! Normally this would cause irritation at the Villas because while a hen’s broody she’s not laying eggs. But this time we’ve decided that because we want to increase our flock we’d let nature take its course and give her seven eggs to incubate. Not necessarily her eggs mind you, a broody hen’s not fussy …and an odd number of eggs because an even number never fits under a hen so comfortably.
A broody hen behaves in a very specific way – quite unmistakable. She loses interest in everything around her and totally focuses on the job in hand. It’s a very powerful state of mind that takes over for exactly 21 days and the mother hen has to be lifted off the nest once a day to allow her to get food and water then gently placed back on the nest fairly swiftly so that the eggs don’t get cold. For the few moments that she is off the nest she clucks loudly and puffs out her feathers which for some reason, seems to annoy the other chickens something rotten. In fact it’s not unusual for one or two of them to have a go at her and sometimes a scuffle breaks out – could it be jealousy? Jealous that the broody has become the centre of attention? Maybe.
Anyway, our broody hen is called Nougat. She is a first-time-mum and is taking the job very seriously. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to post news updates and photos of our mum-to-be on Sow and So in order that you can enjoy this fascinating experience with us. It’s quite magical. Watch this space!