My husband found a dead pullet in the nest box 2 days ago (she was 8 months old). Under her was a broken egg. She was a large bird, I thought the prettiest because of her size and seemed to be in perfect health the day before & with my luck she is the one that lays the beautiful dark dark brown eggs. A couple of possibilities have crossed my mind. First was because it is colder, and they free range less I am giving them more treats (scratch and some mixed bird seed), that maybe she did not consuming enough oyster shells to break down the seed mix. I do spread oyster shells & grit in the run..(I have spread at least 100lbs since early spring, so its not limited) Second and I think the more realistic possibility. This hen sat on the nest for long periods of time. One beautiful day I opened the coop and she remained on the nest for hours. I thought that maybe she had a broodiness tendancy, but now think that maybe she had a difficult time laying large eggs. I believe that she died from being egg bound. I did not autospy her, but examined her and there was a milky discharge from the vent, everything else looked normal. We have had some freezing weather last few weeks and have been dealing with frozen water a couple of times, but I do water them each day sometimes more than once. Do any of you have chickens that take hours to lay an egg? Do you think that was a possiblity, just like some animals have birthing problems? Comments welcome.