Apparently giving birth to my second child has made me sympathetic to mothers and potential mothers everywhere.  All kinds of mothers and potential mothers.  Even chicken ones.

Let’s set the scene.

First off you should be aware that most chickens in a small flock lay eggs in the same nesting box.  So while we have three nesting boxes, all seven of our chickens lay their eggs in the same box.  Typically they lay their eggs and then leave.  Every now and then (happened twice to us in the past year) a chicken becomes “broody” and gets it into her head that she wants to be a mommy and decides to sit on the eggs.  Since we don’t have a rooster, in our case they are unfertilized eggs.

No amount of patient sitting is going to hatch those puppies.  Er, chicks.  If they hatched they would obviously be chicks.  But how cute would little puppies be hatching out of eggs amiright?  

If you don’t convince the chicken she does not in fact want to be a mommy, she will continue to sit barely moving, only get up for a few minutes every day or two to eat and drink a little.  Eggs typically hatch in 21 days, but if a mama keeps sitting and sitting and sitting on dud eggs, she can lose feathers, lose a ton of weight, and really do some damage to herself.  She lays no more eggs during this time.  Or so all of this is what The Husband tells me.  (If you want to know more about this stuff, just ask and I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to tell you about it… the hatching process, how to break a broody hen if you don’t want her to be  a Mom, etc.)

Here’s Curly.  I found her like this one evening.  Sitting on unfertilized eggs.

Curly Nest

Following is the resulting text message conversation between me and The Husband that happened over the next few days. For the record, the “Curly Removal Tool” is a soft broom we gently used to shoo her out of the nest a few times, testing to see if she was serious about wanting to be a Mama.

Eggs 0

Eggs 1 R

Eggs 2 R

Eggs 3 R

Eggs 4 R

Eggs 5 R

Eggs 6 R

Eggs 7 R

Eggs 8 R

Eggs 9 R

Eggs 10 R


Wanna know what happened next?  This.

Eggs RW


And this.

Eggs Nest RW

Oh and this.

Eggs Sit RW

The Husband bought Curly a dozen fertilized eggs and built her a private nest box.  Curly is going to be a mommy everybody!!!  The Husband is currently crafting the maternity ward sign as I blog.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Shall we start the guesses as to how many will be girls and how many will be boys??  


  1. Very glad you documented the fact it was all your idea to more than double our small flock.

  2. I like how Joanna pretends she’s not doing this for the best Easter blog post ever. Now you need a few bunnies…

  3. My guess is 7 new layers and 5 chicken dinners.

  4. I’m going with 8 chicken dinners & just four new girls.

    • Honestly I don’t know which set of numbers I’d prefer. I think I can comfortably fit four more layers… *maybe* five… in the existing coop since I overbuilt it. I’d have to increase the frequency of my weekly five minute cleanup though. Any more girls than that would yield me a bunch more eggs and we’d definitely have enough to start selling to neighbors who’ve been asking, but I’d have to build another structure (probably a tractor).

  5. I’m betting on five rotisseries, three new layers, and unfortunately two duds. I didn’t know this is where this post was going, and I was going to suggest putting some plastic eggs under her. This works too 🙂

    • I’m betting on five new ladies. At least I’m hoping for exactly five because that’s how many more we can fit in the coop (according to the husband).

  6. Ha, twelve eggs, and I accounted for ten. Add another to the rotisserie and one layer!

  7. Aww. That’s really sweet that you did this. I can’t wait to see what happens next 🙂

  8. that was the greatest convo about chickens i’ve seen all week. oh my gosh, curly.