I didn't want to hijack another person's thread on this topic so I'm starting a new one. I have 15 Isa brown laying hens - no roosters. I have a nesting "trough" that is 8 feet long and 12 inches wide. I did not separate the trough into separate laying boxes, it is just one long 12 inch trough. At the very end of the trough there is one "box" that is formed by virtue of it being on the end. The chickens lay all of their eggs in that one spot! They are always dirty when I gather them in the afternoon. I have two questions about this: 1. First, are the dirty eggs unsafe to eat!? I wash them with plain water, and sometimes have to scratch off surface poop and dirt, straw and such. They always finish up clean and beautiful. 2. If I were to insert separators in the trough to form eight 12 inch separate boxes, would they distribute their laying in these boxes instead of all in the one box? I'm thinking that If they laid in several of the separate boxes, then maybe they wouldn't be so dirty. Thanks. PS. on a different note, I get 14 eggs per day from 15 chickens. One of the eggs is always HUGE! Do you think one of the hens is doubling up, the reason I never get 15 eggs?