I have only had chickens since October and by late November they stopped laying eggs. They are young and had just begun to lay eggs when I got them. I wised up about shorter days and learned here about the importance of their diet, so I added light to their house and besides the always available layer pellets, they get scratch in the morning and afternoons. Out of 17 hens, I was getting zero eggs per day but now after these changes, I get really no less than a dozen a day, usually more. These are free ranging chickens. I let them out in the morning whenever I wake up and secure them before sundown. I have one of those metal wall hanging nest box arrangements with 15 individual holes, but when I got it I had to cut wood to replace the bottom of the nest boxes and there are a few along the bottom row that don't have bottoms, so obviously they don't use those. My chickens seem to prefer higher nest boxes and like to use the same ones. It doesn't seem that they have any problem with laying eggs where other chickens have in their boxes. Here is the thing. Some chicken started laying eggs on the floor (I have deep litter hay and shavings) beneath the nesting box unit in the corner. I picked them up and blocked it, but my mother in law who had chicken experience told me that when the hen has enough eggs in that spot, she is probably going to go broody and hatch some chicks so I could leave it alone. Well, this has been going on for about two weeks now and there are now about twenty eggs there. It feels weird to just leave them. I don't understand the full picture here. Is this really what I can expect to happen? I thought I was not supposed to leave eggs lying around in case chickens eat them. She tells me that one day I will go in there and find a broody hen who won't leave the nest, but this hasn't happened yet. Are these eggs going bad? It is in the 40s during the day and 25-35 at night.