What a mess. I dont know what I'm doing, obviously. I wanted to stay out of the way of their broodyness, but failed. We have deep litter in our coop and there are 2 large top-entry nesting boxes on the ground with 2ft high boarded sides. Above them is several smaller elevated nesting boxes. Egg production plummeted a few weeks ago and a hen was staying put in one of the large boxes. She was sitting there so long i thought to feed her, but did it kinda carelessly. As I was broadcasting feed within the coop (mostly they're fed outside in the run) I tossed some in the large box short of the broody hen where she could reach it with relative ease. Well she got off the egg pile, jumped out of the box and started eating from the deep littered coop floor. No prob at that point cuz another hen promptly sat down atop the egg pile. But later it looked like the other chickens had gone in there and scratched and pecked the deep litter burying and scattering the eggs. Then no others went in to exhume and gather them together.
Maybe we're on track now cuz another hen is sitting on another egg pile in the next large box. As you can see pictured now 2 hens are sitting side by side on one pile. Maybe she's just adding an egg, dunno, but any tips or understandings on this broodyness business are welcome. Much Thanks, Nick