Hey all...jumping on this with a question...my girls have started laying...well kinda. LOL..
One chicken out of 5 has started and it was a RIR. Only 1 week in 3 days. Is that normal? I took it out. Should I have left it?
I would say that is normal. It takes a while for them to reach full lay frequency and full sized eggs. I have never heard that leaving an egg in the box stimulates more laying. I would collect the eggs frquently and cook them up. You can leave eggs in the box once your girls are a little more mature if you want to stimulate broodiness and hatch some babies... if the eggs are fertile.
Mine always lay really small eggs at first and when they are 4 months into laying the eggs usually increase in size to a regular egg. They may lay a lot of double yolk eggs too because they are working out the kinks.
You can put ceramic eggs in the nest boxes to encourage them to use them.
Sometimes it takes them a while to get all the bugs worked out of the egg laying process. Don't be surprised if you get all manner of weird eggs for a bit