I have 6 mixed breed hens between 2 & 3 yrs old and 3 EE's about 5 months old. I thought one of my EE's had started laying almost a month ago b/c her comb had turned red and she was squatting when approached. But, there have been no green or blue eggs. Thought maybe she was laying off white ones, but never have I caught her on the nest. So, yesterday she was spending an unusually long time in the coop, going in and out, but not staying long enough to lay. I would find her perched on the roost or just standing on the floor of the coop, but not on the nest. Her 2 companions would either go in with her or stand guard outside the coop door. However, they are still terrified of the older girls, for good reason, and the guards will quickly abandon their post if one of the hens approach. They're such chickens! So, my question is, if a pullet has committed to nesting and laying an egg, will the older hens leave her alone as a matter of protocol? BTW, found my first green egg on the floor of the coop this morning! So, she's definitely laid her first egg, just not in the nest. The nest was pretty torn up though. Might she be afraid to commit to the nest?