I have 12 chickens that turned a year old about a month ago. I am not sure of their breed, but 8 are black, 5 are white, & 1 is B&W speckled. (I will attempt to get a pic of them posted here under my name in case someone can identify their breeds for me). I know that 11 of them are definitely hens, but have some doubts about the last one. I get anywhere between 7 and 11 eggs every day. They began laying 2 days after thanks giving and have been pretty consistent since. About 3 months ago one of the black ones, and one of the white ones began spending a lot of time in the nest boxes after they laid their eggs. Often, when I would reach under them to check for eggs, I would find anywhere from 1 to 6 under one or the other of them. I could usually teel if they were on eggs, because as soon as I entered the coop, the black one would look at me and appear to start talking to me in somewhat quiet clucking. The white one would look at me and begin screaming and squawking like a banshee at me. For the past ,omth, the black one has stopped this behavior, and just lays her egg and leaves the nesting box. She has been replaced by another white one. This white one is almost as loud and nasty as the other white one, but not quite. The louder white one, is one of the 2 biggest white ones in my flock, and is also one of 2 that I had suspected of being a roo even though none of them has ever crowed, but was not sure until I marked her so I could tell the 2 big ones apart. The other large one is the one I still suspect of being a roo, but still am not sure. I say this, because this one has never laid an egg that I can tell for sure, and both of these 2 white ones have much larger combs and wattles then the rest of the whites, as well as the other 7 in the flock, but I do not see any signs of that spur or rear talon like spike on the back or their legs, & obviously, the one that appears to be trying to hatch everyones eggs is also definitely laying her own. I noticed several days ago when reaching under them to retrieve the eggs, that the 2 that seem to be trying to hatch the eggs appear to be loosing feathers on their bellies and chest, as I can see a lot of bare pink skin when they raise up when I take the eggs. They do however appear normal and not featherless at all when they are up and out and walking around and feeding. So, I guess my main questions are, Is this normal behavior? Is there anyway of breaking this behavior? Is it normal for them to loose or appear to loose chest & tummy feathers if they are spending a lot of time on eggs trying to hatch them? I sure hope someone can set me straight on this.