Our First Broody Chicken

Poor Matilda.  She thinks she’s going to hatch some babies.  She is not.  It isn’t for her lack of trying though.  For the past week or so, she’s been trying to sit on the eggs.  We have no roosters.  There will be no babies!

Somehow, Matilda must have communicated her plan to the other hens because all of the eggs have been in one box the last few days.  It isn’t always the same nesting box but it’s unusual for all 8 or 9 eggs to be in the same box . . til Matilda decided to start a family.  Poor thing .. she sits and sits.  I go out and try to explain that she’s wasting her time.  I reach under her and take away all the eggs .. all her potential baby chicks . . gone.

This is her mean look.  She thinks she’s going to scare me away but she just isn’t brave enough (I hope) to peck me when I get the eggs.   Maybe she remembers what happened to Lynn when she pecked me.  BTW, Lynn is still in the freezer.  I just don’t think I can cook her.  Chad says . . I cleaned her, you’re cooking her.  I don’t know!  I just don’t know!

Once I take the eggs, Matilda continues to sit on the empty nest for a little while and finally she goes outside with the rest of the chickens . . til tomorrow and we go through it all over again.

A friend has fertile eggs and I thought about getting some and letting Matilda hatch them so she can have her family but dang it . . I don’t need any more chickens and besides that, I’ve learned my lesson about chickens.  I’m only having Red Stars from now on.  And, we really only need 5 hens at any time.  We have 9 now and 9 eggs a day is just too many and 9 chickens destroy the grass twice as fast as 5 chickens would so . . my goal is to get down to 5 chickens but I’ve heard that well cared for chickens can live 15 years.  It may be a while before I get down to 5 chickens and No!  Matilda . . no babies!!!  Go out and play with your sisters and forget about having baby chicks!


  1. 1


    Oh poor Matilda! Do you think she will get over it? I hope she doesn’t start the other hens off too – it could get dangerous in the henhouse! But you’re right – nine eggs a day is a lot to use up or even give away. I’d love to have hens – and I so enjoy hearing about yours – but my neighbours would just about go up in smoke if I did. They don’t like me anyway and I’m sure they would find some draconian regulation (which there are a lot of in Switzerland) and have me carted off to jail…or worse…

    • 1.1

      Shelly in CO says

      One of my runner ducks is off and on broody.She’ll sit behind the paint cans in the shed(where eggs sometimes get laid) and hiss and snap at you. I have a drake and 8 hens so I don’t need any babies!

  2. 2


    Judy!! If she keeps this up for another couple of weeks, why not get 5-6 Red Star chicks and put them under her and let her raise them? She’ll do a better job than any box with a light bulb can do. The thing is you won’t get to enjoy raising them, that is one drawback.

    As for Lynn, you could always trade her for a chicken in somebody else’s freezer. People do that with 4-H animals all the time. 🙂

  3. 3


    I have a broody hen too. Poor Oprah, she sits on her next all day long. I take the eggs from her and l leave the golf ball. (I wonder if I should take the golf ball from her. ) She doesn’t even come out for cracked corn and she loves her corn!

  4. 4

    Michelle says

    If you really enjoy having chickens though, why not let her settle out her maternal urge with some eggs, have a few more chickens, and sell eggs at the local farmer’s market?

    I know my farmer’s market you have to get there right at opening to have any hope of getting a carton of eggs. Certainly you know how delicious REAL eggs are!

    And if you end up with boy chickens, don’t name them and plan on them for food chickens.

    Also, Maria’s idea about trading your chicken for someone else’s is a great idea. Just don’t ask it’s name 😉

  5. 6

    Toni says

    Always wondered where Lynn was. I agree, trade with someone for a nameless chicken.

  6. 7

    pdudgeon says

    how about feeding Lynn to Speck?
    he’ll never know the difference, and you’ll have the benefit of knowing what healthy meat he is getting.

  7. 8


    My suggestion for the chicken in the freezer (it’s no longer Lynn) is to make the dish for someone in need, a church potluck etc.

    We used to have rabbits and no we couldn’t eat the ones we named.

  8. 9


    If this is a voting situation, I vote for trading one frozen chicken for another. I’m too much of an old softy to eat a “friend” – even if she wasn’t a nice friend.

    • 10.1


      Yeah, that works… but you just sit the chicken’s bottom half in the water, not the whole chicken, unless you have a teeny little hen-sized snorkel she can use. 🙂 The idea is to reduce body temperature.

      Another method is to put them in a wire cage with nothing underneath for a few days, to allow air circulation. That cools things down too.

      I prefer to let them raise babies. 🙂

  9. 11


    Yeah, I couldn’t eat a chicken with a name either. I like the idea of making a meal for someone in need. Then Lynn could at least go to a good cause. Maybe you could donate her to a local soup kitchen. Then you wouldn’t even have to be the one to do the cooking.

  10. 12

    Mary Beth says

    Speaking of this subject….There was a woman at our church when I lived in Springfield who asked me what the rooster’s purpose was. She said, “….I mean, he isn’t just here for his cock-a-doodle-do, is he.” That was almost 30 years ago and I still laugh when I think about it.

  11. 13


    This is one evil eye Matilda is giving you……..do you know where the phrase “old bitty hen” came from……this is it!!! Just what you always wanted chickens with PMS!!!

  12. 14


    Another thing about broody hens is you can fuss over them and spoil them a little with treats because they aren’t going anywhere. I think they’re so cute.

  13. 15


    Poor Matilda. You should find some fertile eggs locally to put under her so she can hatch them. She really wants to be a Mama…help her out, Momma. 🙂

  14. 16

    Billie says

    Poor Matilda. Get that poor girl a rooster! It’s probably causing her to have migraine headaches…LOL.