The Ongoing Saga of Psycho Chicken – AKA the Brooding Hen


My parents gave away three of their chickens while I was away counseling (sad face, says the obsessive egg-eater). But there are still two in the back yard. When I arrived, one of the two was sitting in her berth on the inside of the shed where they roost at night.

I assumed she was laying an egg — I’m not big on schedules or whatever, so it didn’t occur to me that it was 3 pm and usually chickens lay eggs in the morning. The next morning, the same chicken was in the same thought and I thought… Oh, no. So I called my mom.

(Me): Mom, there’s something wrong with one of the chickens. It’s just sitting there and won’t move.

(Mom): Oh yeah, she’s brooding. It’s annoying.

(Me): Ok, well, am I supposed to do something?

(Mom): I got her out once or twice a day to make her run around and I put her in cold water once because the internet said that might work. Apparently this can last for up to 21 days.

(Me): Awesome.


(Me): So I should get her out of there?

(Sidenote): The chickens nesting berth area is like a cubby hole. Not super easy to get your hands in there.

(Mom): I don’t know. I used newspaper so she wouldn’t bit me.

(Me): Mom, she looks like she’s going to die.

(Mom): Huh, yeah, she might. You should probably get her out.

(Me): MOM! She can’t die while I’m HERE.

(Mom): Ok, well you should probably get her out.

So I’ve been doing that. Going in two or three times a day to get out the psycho chicken who then proceeds to dash around the chicken pen area, wings out. She drinks some water, pecks around and then goes back to sit in there with all of her feathers puffed out. Nut. Anyway, this morning, I go out there to get her out, and what do I find, but both chickens in the same cubby, looking mischievous. So one of these chickens is not brooding, but I think that the left cubby is where she likes to lay, so she has crawled in there despite the presence of her psycho friend and looks out at me like I’m interrupting something.


And that is the ongoing saga of the psycho chicken.


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