I am a new chicken owner. I was given two RHI's from a friend that had Leghorn Pullets. The RHI's were bullying the pullets. She was going to take them to animal control. Instead, I brought them home so they could help control my mole cricket problems. So far they are doing a great job. I've already noticed fewer mole cricket issues in just a couple of weeks. I started feeding them egg layer crumbles, scratch, oyster shell and some kind of pellet that they were eating at their old home. My friend reported that these chickens had not laid one egg in the time she had them. I did not have a coop built yet but will be building one right along with the addition of the new box stalls for one of the horses. Until then they are out free ranging 24/7. I put their waterer and feed them in the one stall. They can easilyl get in and out. The stall has a low wall so they roost on top of the stall wall. Wednesday of this week I came home and found one had laid an egg on a barrel that is sitting in my covered cross tie area where I groom my horses. It was laid on the top of the barrel - no soft media to lay on. Just a hard cold metal top. I piled some hay up there. The next day I came home (Thursday/yesterday) to find another egg and the chicken had pushed the hay into a ring and laid the egg right on the hard surface again ... The other chicken sat inside my mounting block (stored on it's side against the wall) and laid an egg there. It's a wood surface. Today I got home and I figured out that my barrel layer is my bigger chicken named "Angry Bird". The other one, my son named "Floppy" had laid an egg in the discarded hay on the ground next to the barrel ... It was late, after dark, and Angry Bird was up in her regular roosting spot. Floppy, for the first time ever, was sitting in the mounting block box. She was very still and flat. According to what I saw, this is called Brooding? My son thought she was dead. She was just super very still. I live in the serious backwoods swamp country. I can't begin to go over the list of wildlife that would be gleeful to find this bird laying on the ground. I can't have this and still expect her life expectency to continue. Can I pick her up and put her on the roost next to her buddy or should I put her in the dog kennel and put her up in the garage? I have no intentions of letting her sit on eggs. I do not have a rooster. Do not particularly want to get one right now - or more chickens - until I have a safe place to keep them all. When I found her she wasn't even sitting ON the egg. She sat in the spot she laid one yesterday. Thoughts?