So last August we bought five newborn hens: two Welsummers, and three Easter Eggers. (Plus two cursed roosters, but that's for another thread.) Since I rent with roommates who don't like chickens and my mom recently bought rural property forty five minutes away, it was always understood she would raise them. We bought two coops big enough to house 5-6 chickens eat: The two Welsummer hens and rooster go in one coop, the three Easter Eggers and rooster go in the other. Now I read many, many chicken breed guides (online and library books), and most of them said that hens typically start laying around six months, mostly during seasons with long days (long summer days = more egg-laying). Also that Easter Eggers were super prolific layers, while Welsummers were just decent layers. Despite this, after nine months, and well into spring, it seems our two Welsummers lay more eggs than our three Easter Eggers. Each morning my mom finds two chocolate speckled eggs in the Welsummer coop (makes sense; two chickens), but only one or two small green/blue eggs in the Easter Egger coop. I also noticed that our Welsummer eggs tend to have harder shells, while our Easter Eggs tend to have very thin shells (and not as rich yellow yolk). For the thinner shells, I'm guessing they aren't getting as much calcium? I've talked to her about giving them oyster shell grit for calcium. As for nutrients, she pretty recently switched them from egg laying mesh (which they grew up with, after getting starter chick mesh) to egg laying pellets, which I'm guessing is not as good? I also personally suspect it has something to do with our horrible Easter Egger rooster, Oneg, who lives in the coop with them. He's a really big bully, and pecks at them, beats them up, and does... uh... other things to them all the time. They all have missing and ruffled feathers because of him. Today, I also discovered that they tend to hide out in the nesting box during the day to avoid being around him (as he likes to strut in the chicken run). Maybe the stress from his bullying and/or being in the dark all the time tells their lizard brains to tone down egg laying production? Also, whenever I give them treats I also noticed he tends to hog most of them for himself (he only really lets the "head hen," Peepers, do what she wants, and that's because she's fearless), and I noticed when Bluebeard and especially Condor, the lowest chicken on the pecking order, tried to eat or take too many treats, he'd peck at them. Do you think he could be discouraging them from eating enough, and thus they don't lay as much because they don't have as much food? Of the Easter Egger hens, I noticed Peepers the "head hen" who gets the most food has a nice large comb, while Bluebeard the beta has a small comb, while Condor the omega has practically no comb. I'm also pretty sure poor Condor gets the least food since she's at the bottom of the pecking order, and can only sneak nibbles when the others have eaten their fill and/or their backs are turned. (She's definitely in the nesting box ALL THE TIME to avoid being picked on by the others.) If Condor and Bluebeard's combs are small, and they seem to not get as much food as the "alpha male and female" (Oneg and Peepers), could that be another reason they don't lay as much? My mom thinks we might have gotten dud layers since we got them so cheap at My Pet Chicken. (Ordered newborns online and had them mailed to us for a few bucks each.) But I don't wanna believe that. My friend ordered a bunch of newborn hens from My Backyard Chicken and they're all prolific egg layers. (Of course, she and her mom take waaaay better care of them than my mom does when I'm in the city. Basically, do you think if we got them premium egg laying mesh, gave them oyster shell grit, gave them lots of calorie and nutrient-rich treats (cracked corn, seeds, oats, berries, leafy greens, etc), and/or got rid of the rooster that's bullying them so much, they might start to blossom as confident young adult hens, and start laying better?