Egg-laying mystery?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 16, 2008
I have 5 chickens (BO, Black Australorp, GLW, Red Star, and Barred Rock) that are all between 20-21 weeks old and are all brown egg layers. On the morning of September 11, I found my first three eggs, side by side in the shavings inside the coop. The next day, I got my rear in gear and put the already-built nest boxes in the coop.

Since that day, I have had ONE and only one lovely, perfectly-formed little brown egg in one of the nest boxes each morning. By happenstance, I actually watched the Red Star--who is by the way, the smallest and youngest of the flock--lay an egg. That was totally cool to watch. And, I've seen that Red Star sitting in the nest box several times. I have never seen another chicken in the box.

The black Australorp does that "squatting down with her wings out" thing when I approach her sometimes. I read somewhere that that was a sign that a hen is coming into lay. The Red Star almost never does that; none of the others do it at all.

I have checked very carefully in all of the places where the hens wander when they are out of their run: no sign of eggs laid in secret spots. It is possible that the original three eggs (or one or two of them) were sitting in the coop for a day before I saw them, but it is REALLY unlikely that I missed them for three days.

The mystery is this: WHICH CHICKENS ARE LAYING THESE EGGS?? It seems highly unlikely that three chickens have a perfectly timed rhythm of egg-laying so that there is only one egg a day. Is it possible that a chicken laid one egg and then stopped? That two did? Could it be that one chicken laid two eggs in one day? Of course, they are all brown egg layers, so I can't distinguish at this point whose egg is whose. To add to the confusion, one of the eggs, laid about a week ago, was significantly larger than the others. Turns out it was a double-yolker.

Short of a hidden camera in the nest box, any ideas?



10 Years
May 13, 2009
Central Maine
Not sure how much help this is but I have black austrolorpes and a barred rock that are the same age as yours. My hens have just started laying but I am almost possitive that it is not either of those ones. I have never seen them near the nesting boxes or any interest in them for that matter. I guess I would watch them to see who seems to gravitate around the nesting area. It seems to be a guessing game at times.


Wanna-be Farmer
11 Years
Dec 16, 2008
it is probably 2 that have started but they lay very infequently at the beggining sometimes, in another few weeks they should all be then you will be able to tell slight differences in each of the hens eggs. The squatting thing is the hen preparing to be mated and yes it is a sign of getting ready to lay. Who has the reddest comb and wattles? if one is more red than others that one is probably the other layer since you saw the red star do it already. How Eggciting!!

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