This is the greatest site! I'm new to chickens but completely IN LOVE! I am a veterinarian and can talk endlessly about dogs and cats but we learn nothing in vet school about chicken behavior - I adopted 4 chickens from our local Animal Control (why they were there I have no clue), they were so beautiful, I couldn't resist. I have bought some property in the country and knew I wanted to raise chickens for eggs but we won't be moving for about a year - I had to have them anyway! So I've made a makeshift coop out of our shed, and they seem pretty happy. One rooster, 2 pretty big hens, one smaller hen. The animal control officers had been finding a light brown egg or two in their pen (a very small dog pen with a tarp over the top, no roost, no nest) 2 or 3 times a week. I've had them about 3 weeks, and I had my 1st egg a week ago, yaaaaaaay! I've discovered it's only the smaller hen that's laying, I've seen her in the nest, always the same one, and the eggs are a beautiful cream color. This hen seems to be the favorite of the rooster at present, I allow them to free range in the yard and the two of them are inseparable! The other 2 hens are about the same size, they are definitely lower in pecking order than the younger one (of course the rooster prefers her! there's no justice). Anyway all this preamble just to say that the 2 older ones are not laying. Will older hens not lay if the rooster obviously prefers another???