I dont know if anyone else has heard of this, or if its been discussed before, but.... Since I have a good sized flock, with different age groups, I'm not sure who might be laying, or where. Most of my older hens use the nesting boxes religiously, but once in awhile there is a stray egg in the yard. But I KNOW some of my girls should be laying by now, but I cannot, for the life of me, find the eggs. They free range an acre everyday, and I have searched it and searched it! I even bribe the kids with $ to find the eggs. These hens are all 5 months old, accepting the roo's advances, and just 'look' like layers. Its driving me nuts, because the ones I suspect tend to run in a group and they dissapear for a bit every morning. (no, I cant follow them hoping to catch them in the act, my life is a tad busy at the moment, LOL!) So I looked up how to find a hens hidden nest, and this is what it said, (in a nut shell)- Put a black peppercorn just inside her vent, and it will cause some slight irritation. She will think she needs to lay an egg, so she will run to her hidden nest and expell the peppercorn. Youre supposed to follow her to the nest. Now, I was thinking it might be kinda mean to do that, I wouldnt want to hurt my hen. But, if she can get it out, maybe its not so bad? Pro's and Con's everyone? Would you do it? How do you find hidden nests?