One of my young Rhode Island Red hens is broody. She is sitting on all the eggs and cannot be persuaded to move. She wants to hatch the eggs and have some chicks. She wants to be a mum.
The problem is, she isn't laying any eggs herself. She may not be eating or drinking either. Broody hens can die of hunger or thirst if they are just ignored. We've got to do something about it.
There are various techniques to stop her being broody. They all involve preventing her from settling down and getting comfy. For example, we could construct a broody coop - a suspended wire cage where she would be kept separate from the other hens until she gives up the idea of egg-sitting. The cage would be cosy and she would have water and food, so it's not as cruel as it sounds. Apparently it's usually successful within a few days. I've also heard of dunking the hen's undercarriage in cold water a couple of times a day. Now that does sound a bit cruel but I'm told it works. And I've seen an ingenious suggestion to replace the eggs with a frozen freezer block. You have to replace the freezer block a couple of times a day to keep it cold. I bet that would work a treat - the hen would have to be really determined to sit on that.
But there's another possibility - we could get some fertilised eggs and let her hatch them. Then in about three weeks we'd have chicks. It sounds like a lot of fun, but Ed very sensibly pointed out that we already have more eggs than we need, so we really don't need any more birds. Boo - what a spoilsport.