Mine played hop on top for almost 5 months before they started to lay. Every day seemed like it got more and more ramped up in intensity and how excited they were to head bob and flirty quack to each other. It started with my boss hen ( who has about 2 lbs on the other hens) laying flat in the water, then the boss & the 2nd biggest hen would lay flat in the water. Until all four were laying flat on the water flirty calling to each other until one decided to hop on top.
Now when they hop on top I sometimes see two hens standing on each other standing on top of the boss hen.
My boss hen would make the girls all go into the nest box for about an hour day each day.
I checked obsessively from about 5 months old til Thanksgiving, Then i just gave up on looking for eggs.
Right before Christmas I found 2 eggs in the nest box. I only found them because i fluff the bedding daily as long as temps allow.
My smallest hen laid 2 eggs a day for 2 days. Then she settled in to one egg a day and haven't missed a day since. My second hen started laying about 1.5 -2 weeks later. I don't know who the second layer is but i suspect that it is my 2nd smallest hen.
All the hens take a turn in the nest box. My two layers lay in the same nest every day except for the night of our Clipper snow storm. My tiny hen slept under the stars that night and laid her egg outside. Her nest was the only area in the pen that didn't have snow in it.
Now that two hens are laying I've noticed that pecking order has changed a bit. Boss hen is still the talker forthe group but the others will butt peck her to make her move out ofthe wat. THey didn't dare do that before laying.
So far the nesting box is staying super clean. I hope it stays that way.
Edited by cayugaducklady - 1/15/16 at 12:51pm