Not sure if this should be in the laying section, meat section, or here, but anyway: What in your opinion is the best way to tell who is laying (and ideally how well), and who is not, for the purposes of culling the flock in the fall? I know some people just get new birds on a regular basis and rotate out all the oldest ones, keeping track with bands or separate enclosures and just culling by age. This is what we tend to do, and overall it tends to average out in our favor. But what if you have an older hen who is still laying decently, or a younger one who never lays well at all? We also have a bit of a bottle neck this fall because we have too many older hens and not enough pullets. We need to keep ourselves in as many eggs as we can for the next few months until we can raise a new crop, but prefer not to waste money on feed through the slower months. I have tried to learn something by looking at rears to see if the vents were "large and moist" vs "small and dry" looking, but so far have only been able to cull one obvious non-layer (which a later "necropsy," as it were, during slaughter, proved an accurate assessment)--all the rest looked various degrees of "large and moist" to me. Yet we are only getting between 3 and 6 eggs a day from 12 layers at present. Maybe I just don't know well enough what to look for? I have tried constructing trapnests as a project years ago, but had a hard time building anything that could work properly, and besides it's more of a project than I can take on right now anyway. I plan to build a small chicken tractor that could be used to raise young birds in the spring and possibily to separate older hens in the fall for "testing" (putting a couple hens in the tractor, seeing what they lay for a week or two, then culling or making notes and returning to the coop, etc). But that is a rough workaround and doesn't give us very quick answers on the whole flock either. Anyone have any tips on ways to divine egg laying activities accurately?