We've just had the first of our hens go to setting, an exciting sign of spring. Broodiness in our hens is a chicken trait we are glad for as the mother often does a better job of incubating and raising little chicks than we do. So when we see a broody hen, we'll give her about 9 marked eggs and leave her to her 21 days of sitting.
Just after the first hen had gone to sitting the other day, I came in the barn to the sound of cheeping. After some searching I found a hen in the hay mow with 16 chicks! We had thought the hen had just gone missing. In fact, she had been busy sitting. We were thrilled with this first hatch of spring, the most chicks we've ever had from one hen.