I am pretty new to owning chickens and my hen just started laying about a month ago. She seems to be spending more and more time on the nest especially more than when she first started laying. She will get off during the day and I think she still roosts with the others. I am wondering if a new mama goes through a period where she "explores" the idea of sitting on her eggs but is not totally convinced that is what she wants to do. In this early stage of her reproduction, is it normal for her to continue to lay eggs and not sit on the nest 100% of the time, but go back and sit on the nest occasionally even when she is not laying a new egg? I want to know because I will stop taking her eggs if she wants hatch them. Currently I leave 3 of her eggs at a time in the nest box, mark them, and always take the oldest one when she lays a new on each day. I have found that leaving some eggs in the box keeps her from finding new nesting spots around the yard and instead to continue to use the nest box.