I have been lurking on this site for some time trying to gain as much info as possible to take care of my 2 RIR and 2 Buff Orp all hens. I have been waiting on them to lay eggs since they all are 24 weeks around new years day. I was hoping for some eggs soon but had also heard that they may not lay till spring and I was not giving them any extra light since it wasn't a huge deal if i had to wait till the days were longer. So the reason for my post. I have a fairly small coop wich I will try and post a pic of but I have been letting my hens roam my backyard eating and scratching all day as long as they want. I check my nest box from time to time and have to shake thier feeder to help fill the tray back up and scrape the dropping off the hardware cloth on the floor of the coop. Well yesterday I went out to do all that around 5pm or so and when I opened the door on my coop to scrape the dropping I had a broken egg under the roost in the droppings. I have decided today to close my coop up so my girls cant roam the yard and also to start using the light I have in the coop to give them a few extra hrs of light. I have pine shavings in my nest box and a fake egg. Is this what I should do or can I start letting them roam in the evening or wait a few days? I also have a small coop that I built and I'm no carpenter and I added a nest box with two boxes and in one of the boxes I have there feeded hanging since i'm a bit limited on room and didn't want them to get dropping in it. Should this be moved away from the nest box? Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated! I'll try to post some pics of my coop as soon as I can if I can figure that out.