My apologies if this sounds long winded, but this is for the edification of those who wish to respond. Here is my story: I am brand new to this: In May I bought 10 australorps (9 hens and 1 roo), my pullets are not laying yet, and showing no signs of any interest (about 23 weeks now). Within the last week I added 8 RIR laying hens to my flock, all about 1 year old, (and yes their vents checked out). To my chagrin, I've read that it often takes a couple of weeks of getting used to their new surroundings for them to start laying regulary again. I figured, fair enough! I collected three eggs in the last 5 days from 8 birds. But I've been noticing that the hens are popping in and out of the coop. I put the food and water outside in their run area, but I still see them loitering about their coop. During the day, there is nothing in there except the nest. The pullets always stay outside, they're even too dumb to come out of the rain, so this is why this behavior puzzles me. Could this 'in and out of the coop' be a nesting behavior? Also, I am in CT and as we approach november I'm starting to wonder if I need to add lighting to the coop. If I add lighting, will my pullets start laying this winter? I have a strange feeling that the pullets are going to be pretty fruitless for me until winter is over, even with artifical lighting. Am I correct in assuming that? Thanks, everyone!