We have a broody hen! I am so excited about this I can hardly express it. It is a wonderful amazing thing to care for something its whole life and then see it prepare to care for its own young.
She is a Dark Cornish, one of two in our flock, she is not one of our friendlier or prettier birds but she has a very likable quality. The description of her breed in the Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog (from where we have ordered all of our chicks with great satisfaction) says they are "good setters and mothers" obviously I cannot attest to the latter but with the former I certainly agree. She has only left her small clutch of eggs for short periods once or twice a day, since going broody the end of last week. She seems prepared to fiercely protect her precious eggs, even giving me the chicken equivalent of a snap every time I hint at reaching my hand into her nesting box.
In a life of off and on chicken raising something I have never experienced is the natural incubation and hatching of chicks. When I was a kid we had some disastrous experiences with home incubators and as an adult have only purchased baby chicks. I do know, roughly, the process a mother hen goes through to incubate her own eggs but I suspect there is a lot that I have yet to learn.