Well, for starters, if you have 2 pullets that were hatched in April and no other older hens, you are being fooled into believing that those hens you got in August are laying 5 to 8 eggs a day???? A chicken takes about 27 or more hours to develop an egg, from ovulation to shelled-egg in the nest. So one a day for up to about 12-14 days is about all that one dear chicken can produce. NOT more than one a day--except rarely, when one egg is laid early in the day, but held overnight, and one later next day. Laying an egg a day is like "birthing a baby embryo" every day-just pretty hard on a system to "put together" a new chick that often. Good feed and management helps Commercial hens laying most every day, but not often, do our breeds of chickens, lay that often (and then are only good for a year or so production--used up after that!)
SO, sleeping in another part of the coop does not mean that those April youngsters are not laying!! Catch those girls, and flip up the tail to examine their vents. If they are not laying, it will be small and tightly closed. If they are laying, it will be widened and perhaps a bit of moisture. Also,. listen to them talk. Are they still making a "cheeping" sort of sound, or now have a "voice" that "sings" or softly "clucks"? Pullets sing a few weeks before starting to lay, and then have a "hen": voice--and of course, they cackle after laying their eggs. Try to view which hens are "on the nest" (in your nest boxes) and check the color of the shells, size and shapes of the eggs. With only a few hens, it is often possible to identify each hen;s eggs--they are always the same from each hen,and most often just a bit different from some of the other eggs. AND when you are listening to your hens "talking", tell they what good girls they are. Feed them well, and see that those April pullets can reach food and water without being dominated by the 4 hens that you obtained in August. Happy New Year!
Edited by JeanR - 12/30/15 at 12:44pm