My one lady who is laying seems to be having a hard time today. She gave me 4 eggs, starting some time last week (we were on vacation) and I have no idea when she laid the first two because they were missed by my chicken-sitter. I know she laid one on Saturday and one Sunday. I didn't find an egg in her nest yesterday, though I did see her sitting there in the morning. Later in the day, she had gotten out of the chicken yard and could have been out for a couple of hours - so she could have laid an egg pretty much anywhere (we have 2 acres of heavily wooded back yard). This morning, she's really loud, and I caught her outside the yard again - she squatted when I picked her up, and is very vocal, so I'm assuming she's ready to drop another egg and I put her in the nesting box. The chicken yard is basically a fenced off area designed to keep the dog out and not necessarily the chickens in, it's huge - 25 x 30 feet - for 7 birds, so they've got plenty of room and only in the past week or so have any of them ventured over the fence. I'm concerned that she either laid in the woods yesterday and decided she like that better and was heading back to her 'spot' when I caught her, OR she's struggling/bound? I know it's not usual for new layers to have trouble, and she doesn't seem to be in too much distress. I just wish I knew if there was an egg yesterday. My kids and I looked around sort of half-heartedly after dinner last night when she didn't leave an egg in the box, but there's just too many hidden spots that would make a great nest. I never expected to be wringing my hands over chickens laying eggs!!!!! Is it difficult to get them to lay in the boxes if they've picked a different spot?