We went out of town last week, and of course, one of my hens (Betty) was showing signs that she was ready to lay. I had 2 friends helping out with the flock, AM and PM, and told them both Betty was ready to start laying, so please check for eggs each day. When we came home yesterday, there were 2 eggs (not in the laying boxes, in a corner of my coop) that I only noticed because Betty was moving them around, I think so she could sit on them. I took them both, and she immediately plopped down in the corner. I assumed she was going to lay another egg. I came back an hour later, and she was still on the nest. I picked her up, because I was curious, and she had laid another egg. I took it, and when she realized it was gone, she started to squawk. This afternoon, she was back on the nest again for almost 2 hours. I picked her up because I was starting to get concerned because it was taking so long, and there was another egg. So I took it, and she FA-REAKED out.....squawking so loud, it got my husband off the couch in the middle of a ball game to make sure everything was OK. This seems to me to be the kind of behavior that broody hens exhibit, but can she be broody after 4 eggs? Is it because nobody collected the first two in a timely manner? Or am I being inconsiderate by not waiting until she vacates the nest on her own? I thought once the egg was out, they pretty much went about their business. I felt horrible today - like a kidnapper! My husband said I should give it back to her to see if she quiets down, but I didn't want to have to take it away again. Sigh.