I have nine, 30-week old hens (BO, BPR, EE). My first hen started laying at the beginning of December, one egg a day every day. Then after laying about 10 eggs in the nesting box, nothing. I started to worry, had their poop analyzed at the vet for worms, nothing. A big snow storm came through and I decided to try locking all the chickens in their run/coop. Then we started getting eggs again...this time I had 2 hens laying. So, all I could figure is that the second laying hen laid her eggs outside somewhere and my first layer followed suit. I never did find those eggs...we've had pretty steady snow since then and I decided to just leave the chickens locked inside due to the cold and the onset of layers. I thought maybe this way all the ladies would learn to lay in the boxes. It's been 3 weeks now and we're up to 5 hens laying. It's been pretty cold out and snowing every day, so I really haven't bothered letting the chickens roam again. So, my question for you is this....should I keep them all on lock down until the whole flock is laying? Do I let them out and just hope that they remember to come back to their coop to lay? What do most folks do with their first time layers?