Just this morning I was telling my husband how neat it was that the girls all go back to the coop and the nest boxes to lay their eggs eventhough they free-range all day long and often end up a long ways from the coop. Well....a few minutes later I'm throwing balls for Rex when I hear a chicken carrying on like never before - coming from the horse stalls. I had seen our other dog, Lucy run in there but she came running out and the chicken was still carrying on like nothing I've ever heard before. I ran in to see what was going on and why a lone chicken was that far away from the rest of the girls. Anyway, there's Ruth in the middle of the horse stall all puffed up and screaming like a crazy-chick. It only took me a minute to figure out what she was so upset about. Apparently Ruth has been keeping a secret: Seven pretty little green eggs. Guess she's gone broody and didn't like Lucy discovering her little stash of "babies". She crawled back in her box and laid another one: Guess that explains where she was last week when I couldn't find her after looking everywhere and calling for an hour and was just about to cry (I know it's a chicken and I thought I was prepared if I lost one to free-ranging) when she came running from that direction. I don't have the heart to take the eggs from her. I think she's still laying because she left the nest shortly after laying the 8th egg. No hope of them hatching since I don't have a rooster but I don't have the heart to tell her that either. She's had such a hard start in life and is so low on the pecking order. Bless her heart - she's trying to raise a little family.