Last year my pair of peas were two, and the hen started laying. She laid an egg every other day until she had five (I was gathering the eggs) the she stopped. After a few days it was apparent that she wasn't going to lay anymore so I scrambled to see which broody han would sit on eggs in a rabbit cage with a nest box. One of my Speckled Sussex was the best choice so I put the eggs under her. Only one developed, so when it hatched I left it with her so that the baby wouldn't be alone in the brooder. Mama Speckled got spoiled for her dedication, and she was an excellent mom. When the snow hit, I moved mama hen and the chick in with the adult pair of peas and they spent the winter there. It was about a year ago that she first acted broody. Now I have pea eggs coming in the mail and was hoping that she would set the eggs for me again. I put some chicken eggs in the same nest box, in the same cage, and was hoping that it would remind her and encourage her to go broody again. I have a few days before the eggs get here, and I moved her in a few days ago. But she is showing no inclination to go broody. I finally took her back out last night and moved her back in with the chicken flock (I hope she doesn't get picked on) and put a Buff Orpington in the box with the eggs. I just checked and the BO looks like she might do it. But now I am curious. Do you think it's possibe that the Sussex is smart enough to know that she wasn't with a rooster so her eggs wouldn't hatch? She was a very determined broody last year. The BO that I chose is one that I keep finding in the nest box, and she gets very ruffled and pecks st me when I gather eggs. So I have to slide my hand under her from behind and lift her off of the nest to gather eggs. She also has a bare back, so possibly a rooster favorite and likely to have fertile eggs? Or is it just the nature of the beast and I am over thinking things? I just hate to think that such an outstanding broody/mama just won't be again... Maybe I should seperate her again for a few days and gather her eggs to see if she was cozy with the peacock?