My juvenile flock has several layer pullets that look very close to point-of-lay. To my knowledge, none of the layer chicks have actually started laying. The only ones laying are my meat pullets. They are all 22 weeks old. Right now and for the next few days, they are locked in their coop most of the day and only let out to free range in the afternoons. They have plenty of room in their coop, but still I know they are bored. Currently I have three nestboxes in the coop, each filled with hay and a couple of golf balls. Whereas my adult flock never bothers their nestboxes except to lay in them, the younger birds seem fascinated with theirs and delight in kicking out all the hay and trying to eat it. Right now I have one of the meatie pullets locked in her box because she is trying to lay an egg and the other birds won't leave her alone to do it. I was just out there and saw something that disturbed me. One of the SS was in the nestbox intended for the meat birds and she was kicking out the hay and pecking repeatedly at the golf ball. Is she just curious about the "egg" or looking to eat it? To my knowledge they have never eaten an egg. My adults ate a soft shelled egg once (and only once) and the evidence was clear on their beaks. I don't want to remove the nestboxes, especially the large one, because the meat birds are laying and the layer birds are very close. I may remove the hay and replace it with shavings, but I prefer to have hay in the boxes once they all start laying. So is the SS bored? Curious? or a potential egg eater?