Feeling a Little Broody?

courtesy pixabayWhile researching chickens for a novel I am writing, I came upon some interesting information concerning broodiness.

Broodiness is a hen’s instinct to hatch eggs. A hen that’s thinking of brooding may cluck like a mother hen when she gets on or off the nest. On the nest she will puff out her feathers, growl; yes, growl, and peck your hand if you reach under her for an egg.

Just because a hen is sitting on a nest doesn’t necessarily mean she’s setting on eggs. She may be thinking about eggs she recently laid, or she may be hiding from some bully that’s higher in the peck order.

Although there are honest to goodness broodies as well as wanna be broodies, there iscourtesy pixabay a way to test for true broodiness. Gently reach beneath the hen and remove any eggs you find.

If she runs off in an hysterical snit, she’s not broody. (Just moody.)

If she pecks your hand, puffs out her feathers or growls, then she’s actually setting on her soon-to-be-hatched chicks.

The book I read on the subject said clucking is one sure sign of broodiness. It also said broody hens hiss like snakes when annoyed and disturbed, warning anyone near to stay away. Broodies’ growl is a harsh sound usually accompanied by feather-ruffling that indicates defensiveness and distrust which can also include a peck that means don’t mess with me.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve known my fair share of broody, clucking, huffy-puffy people. And if I’m truly honest, I’ve had my fair share of broody, clucking, huffy-puffy moments as well.

The Bible lists many broodies, but the first one that comes to my mind is spear-chucking, feathers-ruffling, hissy-fit-throwing King Saul.

Multiple times the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel mentions Saul got angry, lost his temper, and threw a spear at either David, or Saul’s son Jonathan’s head. Not to mention the episode where he had eighty-five priests killed at one time.

courtesy pixabaySaul puffed himself up and gave himself credit for accomplishments even when the great deeds weren’t his to claim.

He hissed, growled, and pecked at those around him who were a threat.

He killed those he felt threatened by and relentlessly tried to destroy David, God’s chosen future king.

Seems to me Saul fit the description for both a true broody hen and a wanna-be broody. He sat on something worth protecting, his dynasty, but by the end of his reign God removed his kingdom from him, and all that remained was wishful thinking.

Next time we find ourselves feeling broody, how about we make sure what we are protecting is worth fighting for and not just a bad case of ruffled feathers.

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Jonathan asked his father, “Why should David be killed? What wrong has he done?”  Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan, trying to kill him. So Jonathan knew that his father really wanted to kill David. 1 Samuel 20:32-33 (CEV)

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I wish you well.


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