I couldn't believe this myself... I have one Rhode Island Red left from my old flock I got several years ago. She is over 3 years old. Last year she decided to stop laying entirely and devout herself complete to being the "rooster" of the flock. Her vent got tiny, she got really thin, she stopped laying, and she lead the flock around the yard and mated with the other hens. All of a sudden as of a couple weeks ago, I notice her combs and wattles are really really bright. My puppy sitter swears she saw this chicken (Alabama) leaving the nest box one day. Finally today she is singing and egg song, I check her vent, it's big again, she is getting heavier and her legs look brighter. How weird is that!! So I guess the moral of the story goes, even if you choose to let a couple of your hens retire and not become stew, they may surprise you with eggs!!