I'm probably reading far too much into this, but here's the background: I have four Buff Orp pullets, hatched 6/5/10- 7 months old. Living in a converted area of a shed. Two nest boxes for four chickens (really, only 3. One chicken refuses a nest box and only lays on the floor.) In the process of switching from layer crumbles to layer pellets- mixed the two together. they now seem to prefer the pellets. (Blue Seal, i believe) They get a dish of warm oatmeal every morning because i feel bad it's so cold. (One human-sized serving across four chickens. Half a cup maybe? cooked.) Free choice oyster shells and poultry grit. Leaving heat lamp (red 60w bulb from brooder) on pretty much 24/7. Don't remember the last time the temp went much above 25° They've all been laying for about 2 months, fairly regularly- I can go 5-6 days without anyone missing an egg. Now for the past few days (3-4) I've only been getting 3 eggs/day. I know its not uncommon for them to skip a day, especially since buffs are not known as prolific layers, but I'm worried about them being egg bound. Usually, when I only get three eggs, I'll get three, then four the next day, and then maybe three again a few days later when someone else takes a break- or some days I'll get two eggs, and then four the next day. But 3-4 days of consistently 3 eggs is worrying me. I don't have much to go on, no one appears sick. What concerns me is that after getting three eggs for the day, we'll find the fourth sitting in the nest box, and we assume she's going to lay- and no egg. Doesn't this mean she has the urge to lay, and can't? Will a chicken sit in the nest box as if to lay, and not need to be in there? We've noticed this several times. This morning, I brought them their daily oatmeal, and all four were outside in the run, where I put it. Three came over right away, and the fourth was up and about, appeared to have been taking a dirt bath (The ground was all dug, she was all fluffed up and shaking herself off.). I was running out the door to work and didn't really think much of it until I was driving away. Am I just over thinking? Again, I don't actually know that the chicken that seemed uninterested in the oatmeal is my non-layer, nor do I have actual proof that it is the same chicken skipping everyday. I date my eggs, so I will look at them when I get home tonight and see if I am missing the same egg everyday. (I get 2 light eggs and 2 darker eggs everyday. I'll see if i'm consistently missing one of them.) So- when a chicken skips a day, can they skip a few days? What would I look for to see if she could possibly be egg bound? Seems to be up and about- I'll do a closer inspection tonight.