I had a big chicken adventure last night - one of them was in the egg box, making odd noises. I thought maybe she was egg-bound, so I looked it up in my chicken book and read what to do. I swallowed hard, grabbed the bottle of mineral oil from the medicine chest, and headed out to the coop to severely violate the dignity of the hen in question. After a lot of ineffectual poking around and squawking and struggling, I remembered I trick I learned when I worked for a couple of weeks on a sheep farm - if you get them off of their feet, they give up. So I grabbed the hen by the legs and flipped her over on my lap. I found the vent (yeesh!), but didn't see anything that looked wrong (except that the vent remined me of those horrible things from "Aliens"). Also, I couldn't feel anything egglike in her abdomen. So I put her back in the next box and headed back to the house, hoping that things would work themselves out. This morning there was a fresh egg there, and everyone was hopping around and looking fine. It occured to me this morning that I have no idea what a hen looks or sounds like when she's laying normally; maybe I just walked in at an inopportune time. Good experience though; I need to learn more about chicken biology, and this was the most biological event around here in a long time.