We have a hen named Charlotte that will be 3 years old at the end of September. She, so far, is the only hen we have that likes to get broody. She does a good job with the whole broodiness, as long as she is not disturbed or chased out of the brooder box (more on that later).
The first time she was broody, we all thought something was wrong. She seemed lethargic and non-responsive. Was she egg-bound? We thought so. We sat her in a few warm tubs of water...just in case. After a little research and observing her for a while, it was determined that she was broody...without an egg under her. So, Scott placed an egg under her and we waited for the 21 days to see if the egg would hatch. Nope...the egg was a dud and Charlotte went back to hanging out with her friends.
The second time Charlotte was broody happened in the dead of winter (January/February 2016). This time she actually had some eggs under her (provided by her little hen friends) and she did a great job. After the long awaited 21 days, one little egg hatched on a very cold Sunday morning (-18 degrees). The little chick, named Frosty, survived and is now our Rooster of the bunch. The other eggs did not make it and we ended up tossing them in the woods.
The third time Charlotte was broody started at the beginning of this month. Remember that I mentioned that the broodiness will only work as long as the hen is not disturbed or chased out of the brooder box??? This third round of being broody didn't give good results. Eggs were supposed to start hatching on the 21st of this month...nothing, probably because she got off of the eggs to take a drink and hopped into a different brooder box and started sitting on different eggs. The first batch of eggs were thrown out. The second batch of eggs were being sat on pretty good until Frosty chased Charlotte out of the brooder box. Luckily, Sam found Charlotte in a different brooder box and moved the second batch of eggs under her because the eggs were still quite warm. This past Saturday night (the 27th) an egg hatched. This egg was from our Americauna (Mary) and we were thrilled. Unfortunately, Charlotte rejected this little chick the following morning and it died. Sam named the chick "Chatterbox" and he/she is now resting in peace. The remainder of the eggs are now in the woods for the local critters to eat. None of those eggs had fully developed chicks in them.
Will Charlotte be broody again??? Hard to tell. Will we have another hen that will be broody? We'll have to see.
Raising chickens is quite educational and quite the learning experience.