A broody hen is essentially a hen that is sitting on her nest of eggs trying to hatch them. If you just have hens, and therefore no fertilized eggs, a broody hen can be problematic for your egg production and for your hen's health. When I went out one day to find Emmy Lou sitting in the nesting box all day and puffing up and growling at me, I got great advice from Fresh Eggs Daily on how the "break" her of her broodiness.
A broody hen can be a godsend if you are trying to hatch chicks. No worries about incubators, brooder boxes or heat lamps...the hen will take care of it all. However, if none of your eggs are fertile, or you aren't interested in hatching any chicks, a broody hen is not something you want.
How Do I Know if I Have a Broody Hen?
Once you have had one broody hen, you will immediately recognize when the next one goes broody. The signs are pretty unmistakable.
Your first clue that a hen might be broody will likely be that every time you go to collect eggs, she is sitting on the nest.
Your second clue will be when she puffs up and growls at you. She will also make a deep, throaty cluck cluck noise (that's the "voice" she will use to call her chicks incidentally). Some broodies will also peck at your hand when you try and take the eggs, so a pair of gloves is helpful.
What is your favorite breed for egg laying? Tell me in the comments.