Sometime during this past week, I noticed my 10-month-old black silkie, Julia, spending an inordinate amount of time in one of the nest boxes, making little cooing noises and hunkered down like a little zombie chicken. Hmm, I thought... I could swear she already laid today! Nighttime came, so I pried her out of the nest and plopped her onto her perch next to her BFF. She was not happy. Next day, same thing. I started to panic, thinking she was dying on me and needed a smoft place to expire. The kids and I were sick to our stomachs. (And I confess, in the middle of all the worry was the nagging thought that the ground was frozen solid, so how was I going to dig a grave if she did die??? Can't leave her in my backup freezer for the winter, because that just died on me!) This repeated another day or two, while I frantically looked up symptoms. Then it occurred to me in the middle of the night... oh, right, she's broody. Never had a broody hen before - didn't know what to expect. NOW what do I do? I do NOT want chicks! Looked up methods of breaking the cycle here, continued to collect eggs out from under her (other birds just ignore her tiny mass and hop into the nest to lay around her) and pry her off the nest at night. If I didn't get the light out in time, she'd hop off the perch and move back to the nest, so it was quite a race to get it done before she could move. I have no idea if she stumbled there in the dark once I left, because by the time morning rolled around and I made it outside to open the coop up, she was already hunkered down in a nest. Often with another egg or two under her, the little stinker. After some advice from HenCam, who lives in the next town, I decided to just let her do her thing in her own time. I keep collecting the other girls' eggs - I do have a rooster, albeit one who doesn't get a lot of action, despite having 8 hens at his disposal. I occasionally yank her out of the nest and plop her down in the run, if only so she can get some exercise scurrying back in and - stopping for food and water en route. But I let her have her way and sleep in the darned nest, because it's too bloody cold out to let her sleep in a cage with a wire bottom right now. She WILL eventually realize this isn't going anywhere and abandon this broody thing, right? She WON'T starve herself to death, right? This broody thing stinks. Do. Not. Like.