Broody hens looks so content and motherly, fluffed up on their nests. Just DO NOT disturb them. That puts them in a BAD mood. A broody hen in a bad mood wants to take it out on someone. But not on someone that might peck back. They still respect the pecking order. A broody hen in a bad mood is likely to do something that that very same hen, if not broody and if not in a bad mood would never do – like attack the innocent rabbit.
Eggers has been broody for weeks. She sits on everyone else’s eggs and doesn’t lay any of her own. I toss her out into the yard whenever I go out to the coop. Supposedly, that helps to break the broodiness. With Eggers, it doesn’t stop her broodiness, but it does turn that mild little bantam into a furious hen.
Today I put cantaloupe seeds in the chicken run. I set Eggers out near them. You think she’d be happy to be given such a treat. No, she looked around for someone that she could take her ire out on. Poor Candy. Eggers ran at her like a hen possessed. Pecked her butt and pulled out a big tuft of fur. Candy hopped off. Eggers followed and the hair flew again.
I know it wasn’t so bad for Candy. If it was, she would have hopped up into her hutch and that would be that. However, Candy barely moved out of range and resumed her implacable rabbit pose. She wasn’t about to let a crazed, broody hen get to her.
Eggers went back to her nest. It was empty: I’d collected the eggs. But that doesn’t matter to a broody hen. She’s settled in for the remainder of the day. Placid and peaceful.