I'm keeping some reflections here and would love to have links to yours. A little verse, some rants, some stories from the past year. My first flock! https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-Chickenspeak My first broody- Zipfi Zipfi has been my first broody and gave me a scare in February of 2009, just after Valentine's. I had been noticing loose feathers around the coop and in the end nest box near the outer door of the coop. Then on the 15th when she bent over with the others to accept treats in the blue bowl, I noticed a bare patch between her legs. It was a perfect circle! I remembered that Zipfi has been hogging that nest box recently. In fact when I lifted her gently she seemed a bit light. Bingo. She's going broody. Now, Zipfi is one of those hens who watches me closely. She will accept a gentle stroke while squatting, but she can be obsessive about eggs and has often bawked her resentment as I collect them. I assume that single egg that always appears in the end box is hers. too. So she lays one egg, alone in the same place every day but fusses over bigger clutches in any box. Interesting. So I began offering her a strip of shredded cabbage in return for her egg, daily, and collected them earlier than usual. She gradually broke back into normal eating and drinking, and has become more congenial. Took about two weeks, maybe a little more, and her feathers began to grow back. Then this morning, March 10, I noticed a feather in her nest box and that I had only eleven eggs, down one from my usual twelve. Sneaky cow waited until I left the coop and jumped into the box and laid egg. I have to think she wanted me out of there so I wouldn't take it. I waited a while and returned. She doth protest but I have that egg. Without a rooster I can't risk having her go broody and get out of condition. I know she hates me, but, well, she's the only one. So far. She seems quite, um, determined.