My first tactic to break my Brahma's sudden broodiness was to kick her off her "clutch" (Our chickens generally like to lay their eggs in the same one of the three nesting boxes in our coop). I'd nudge her out of the nesting box by lifting her big fluffy butt to take the eggs she was hoarding and then I'd push her out of the box into the coop and say, "Go on. Get out." She'd make some mean clucking noises at me that I assume where not fit for a lady and then go on out into the run. We performed this ritual for several days with the same results (Isn't that the definition of insanity?). That is, until she started getting mean. After three or four days of the nudging tactic, she started fighting back by pecking at my hand and wrist. It didn't hurt, but it was a bit terrifying. As my husband and I debated our next move, The Chicken Man offered up some fertile eggs and some sage advice: let her hatch some eggs and she'll become a happy mama. We decided to go for it.
One afternoon I went out to the coop after work, checked that she wasn't sitting on any of our hens' eggs, and placed seven little white eggs next to her in the nesting box. I'd read somewhere during my hours of internet research about hatching eggs with broody hens that this was the best way to go. I checked on her in an hour and she was sitting on her eggs, hunkered down fat and happy.
With all the egg confusion, you'd think we wouldn't have any eggs hatch, but I realized that chickens have been hatching eggs for hundreds of years. They know better than we do on this one. In about twenty days, Mama hatched out five beautiful Japanese-Old English Game crossed bantam chicks. They were the cutest and tiniest things I'd ever seen. And, she did a beautiful job hatching them.
Half of those twenty days I was busy trying to research what I needed to do to help her and take care of those eggs, but then I stumbled onto a great site http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html. This site is an amazing five part tutorial on hatching eggs with hens rather than incubators. And, it taught me what I said above: chickens know how to hatch eggs. It's that simple. You don't have to do anything except provide food, water, and a safe place to hatch her chicks. She will do nearly everything else, which includes constantly turning the eggs with her feet or beak every few minutes! It's nothing short of miraculous.
I will say that The Chicken Man was right. She hatched those chicks and she's one happy mama (more on that part later).