This past month I noticed that our hen Omelette was hanging out beneath our back deck in a far corner and wouldn't come out except to eat. It is so dark under the deck I couldn't see her well, but I thought I spotted an egg just behind where she was crouching. After three days of Omelette just sitting there, I declared to Paul that she must be brooding and trying to hatch that egg. So, like a good husband and chicken farmer, he put on some old clothes and crawled through the chicken manure under the deck to assess the situation. After much cajoling, he got Omelette to move from her protective crouch where she was sitting with her wings spread wide. When she finally did move, Paul spotted a large clutch of eggs that she was keeping warm.  In fact, there were 21 eggs she was trying to hatch! Of course, chickens have brains the size of peas, and most of their behavior is governed by instinct, so she didn't know that because we don't have a resident rooster that none of those eggs would ever turn into baby chicks. Instead, they turned into hardboiled eggs that we hid for our annual Easter egg hunt the next day.

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