Hello everyone! I am very excited to be a new member of this forum. My partner and I live in St. Louis, MO right now while he is attending law school. We plan on buying a big farm in New Hampshire when he graduated, but until then, we thought it would be nice to get a head start and raise some chickens right here in the city. We spend an entire weekend building a coop and setting up a run in our back yard.. Only to find out that after we got 6 chickens from CraigsList.. Our city requires a permit to keep chickens and they only issue the permit to 5 people per year. If you get caught without a permit, you receive a $200 fine.. PER CHICKEN! In a panic we went down to city hall and found out we could get a permit.. for $150, which pays for the permit itself, and 3 annual inspections to make sure that it is not smelly and loud. We were the last ones to get a permit issued out of the 5 people, and that day alone, 3 other people decided to get a permit also.. Chicken raising must have been in the air that week, haha. We researched for weeks about lighting, laying and everything we needed to make our chickens lay eggs before we decided to do this, and now that we have everything set up, our chickens are not laying eggs. We purchased 6 of them from a woman with a farm on Craigslist. She originally told us that they were Araucana chickens but after checking a bit more, we found that they are probably Amaraucana. They are all black, with black legs and a little bit of red on the beaks and head. She had raised them all from eggs and they were 7 months old when we picked them up from her. She said that they will lay blue/green eggs and will start laying any day now. That was 3 weeks ago. We took her advice and switched them to 17% Protein laying feed. We set up lighting in the coop that turns on a 60 watt bulb in the coop at 2:30 am, with a 100 watt bulb outside at the end of the run to simulate daylight. The chickens go to bed at 5m so this gives them 9 hours of sleep. They are happy, healthy and love the feed. We let them free range on the weekends and have build perches both inside and outside the coop. It has been almost a month and they have not layed a single egg, nor do they show any signs of laying. Does anybody know what I can do to help things along? We are using 3, 5-gallon buckets as nesting boxes. They are filled with straw and leaves. The woman told us that they would definatley lay eggs in this sort of box. We are stuck. Ideas?