I just love having chickens around. You get to eat the most delicious and freshest eggs every day, they eat pesky little bugs around your place, and it's just plain fun to have them around to watch. But they are are not the brightest, and think about the little sayings folks picked up over the years by observing them. "Hen Pecked, pecking order, scared as a chicken, running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, she's no spring chicken, they laid an egg, don't chicken out, that's chicken feed, don't count your chickens before they hatch, scared as a chicken, when the chickens come home to roost, go to bed with the chickens, if it isn't chicken, it's feathers, and it's a chicken and egg situation." I'm sure there are more but I can't think of any right now off the top of my head. If you know one, go ahead and add it in a comment.
Well, my point is that they are not that smart. Most animals and birds have their young in the spring and summer, when the temperatures are warmer and the days are longer. That just makes sense for viability issues. We have had a Buff Orpington brooding on the floor of the hen house. There is a corner where several chickens have gotten in the poor habit of laying eggs on the floor, and not in the boxes. I noticed about 2 weeks ago when I went out to put them up for the night, that she was sitting in the corner and didn't get up and run out the door like a scaredy cat chicken usually does. The next morning she was not on the eggs and they were cold, so I collected them. I think she was doing a dry run, because now, she has been on the eggs for the last three days when we have gone out in the morning and evening. I guess if she was doing a dry run, that would mean she has some forethought. I don't know how many eggs there are, but I would love to have little chicks running around. They are so cute. But it is December, and here it has been cold and foggy with lows of 10-14 to highs of 28 the last 3 weeks. The chicks take 3 weeks to incubate, so we could very well have snow on the ground, wind, and obviously, more cold weather. I hope she does brood and we get some little chicks. I hope with that little pea brain of hers, she knows what she is doing. I hope as well that they will survive. We have a pen where we will put them away from the others when (if) they hatch. I don't know that I agree with her timing, but I am hopeful. I will keep you posted.