I'm still waiting for my speckled sussex to start laying. They are 24 weeks old today. I split this order of hens with a friend and hers have been laying for over a month. Mine are free-range and hers are confined. We even use the same feed. I wondered if mine could be laying out in the forest, so I rigged up a run and have kept them closed up until about 1pm each day. Still no eggs. I don't think they're eating them because I still get eggs from my dominiques. I would think if I had egg-eaters they'd go for the dominiques eggs as well as the sussex. The only difference in our two flocks is mine are free range and I have older chickens in with them. My chickens hate me!