My broody hen was on the nest this morning, warming the eggs put there by all my other hens. I took advantage of the full production by putting her in the run and closing the coop.
She acted like this was her fondest wish. She ate the black oil sunflower seeds and the scrambled eggs from my breakfast error. She lolled in the dust and generally gave every impression of sybaritic pleasure.
At first she was careful to stay with the flock. But as the day wore on, she started trying to slip into the coop unnoticed. When she heard me nearby in the yard she would casually vacate the top of the chicken ladder by the closed coop door and casually walk as fast as she could back to the chicken run.
Knowing the outcome in advance, I opened the coop and went to work on another part of my yard for about 5 minutes. When I returned she made no pretense of staying with the flock. Instead she boldly remained on the nest.
I placed her back in the cooler cage. She seemed unsurprised and maybe a little smug that her subterfuge had worked once. Once.
I am starting to consider some additions to my coop. I may build a shelf to hold the cooler cage by the roost. I am also thinking about building another nest box above or below the current nest box. I need to think about this some more as my carpentry skills are similar to my breakfast skills....