17 weeks ago, along with another family, we bought the same flock at the same place/time (8 chicks each). Their chickens started laying a few days ago but ours have yet gifted us with any. Granted it has only been a few days, so why would I be concerned? We have pretty much the same setup. Sure, we have a larger run and slightly larger coop, but I doubt that makes much of a difference in this instance. We feed them the same feed (Scratch and Peck brand) along with plenty of garden and kitchen "waste". However, ours have access to (on an almost daily basis), the backyard with fresh grass, trees, bushes, and other vegetation. I figured this additional access would make happier and healthier hens, and thus a slightly earlier egg laying than the other flock. But maybe this variable doesn't play into this at all. If the latter does not play a part in this, then there is one main difference between our setups. They use a 5 gallon bucket with nipples for watering (so did we for a month) but we have been using horizontal nipples with pvc pipes in a system that is attached to the house water line for a few months now (bought from backyardflock.com). I have seen them reluctantly peck at them and mostly I see them drink from a very slow leak (a drop every 10 seconds), so I'm not fully sure they get enough water. I do have a small container inside the coop with a nipple which they use in the morning before I let them out, and when we have 95+ f weather, I put out a 3 gallon container with ice cubes to make sure they have access to coldish water. The first week or so, a slight odor from the glue used when gluing the pvc pipes together oozed out with the water, so I properly flushed the system multiple times every day for a few weeks until I no longer could detect any smell. Could this have poisoned the hens somehow, or still poison them? Could the fact that they don't drink as much from the nipples cause the delay/difference in our flocks? I can't visually see if they get enough water or not, as in, they look and act very healthy, and never storm the additional water I put out. In fact, I've never seen them drink out of it. I'm not at all concerned with the fact that the other identical flock spits out eggs before us (the store is still open). I'm concerned that there is something with our flock that may cause them to delay the egg laying, and in this case, mainly the water intake. After all, their health comes first, and I want my ladies to continue to thrive and be able to catch anything that's wrong before it's too late. Thoughts?