A Broody chicken is a grumpy chicken. She likes to be left, on her own, in a gloomy spot, where her little brain will switch off for 3 weeks.
This is the chicken who is sat on the clutch of eggs. She's got roughly a week to go, we candled the eggs a few days ago, and it looks as if the boys have done their jobs, as all 6 seem to be fertile. There are no guarantees, but I'm hopeful that at least some of them will hatch out.
My particular breed of chickens are know for being good mothers. This also means they will go broody at the drop of the hat. Going broody is the state a chicken needs to be in if it is to sit on eggs for 3 weeks. They pull out the feathers on their under-belly, raise their body temperature, and will sit in a nest box without getting up for hours at a time. Broody is great when I want to hatch out eggs, but if I don't then it's a bit of a pain. Chickens who are broody are also grumpy, and will sometimes bully the laying chickens out of the nest box. They're also not laying any eggs themselves, and in their head they've already laid a clutch of eggs, and are sitting on them.
Wiggo, in the photo above has gone broody, and is being very grumpy about it. I lifted her out of the nest box, partly so she ate something, but also because if I do it enough times they do sometimes snap out of it. Whilst doing so, she made her feelings known and I did get a few well aimed pecks on my hand. She is looking a bit of a state though, with Cav gone she's now bottom of the pecking order, so does get pecked by the others, and her frizzle feathers are weaker and prone to breaking. She's not in pain, but she does look a little ridiculous.
Speaking of Cav, my friend Katharine made me a very lovely Easter/sorry Cav died present.
Much better for me than chocolate, a cupcake box filled with batts inspired by my flock of crazy chickens. Most of the fibre is fleece from her flock of sheep, and I'll have some of the fleeces on my stall at Wonderwool Wales.