We removed the chickens from being grounded today, because egg production has not improved. We know they were definitely laying eggs in the woods, because we would see and hear one singing the egg song, but she would never enter the coop. This was going on with several of them.
However, comparing the eggs laid this week to last week shows egg production has been about the same. A group of ten 1-year-old hens are only laying 4-7 eggs a day. Normal is 8-10. This hasn’t happened before, so we’re not sure what is going on but will keep investigating.
It could be because the weather is still cold and rainy (a high of 47 today). It could be the broody Australorp is being obnoxious (no brooding coop). No food or water has changed. I don’t see any signs of molting, though they still could be. We’re kind of at a loss. We’re not hurting for eggs, so it’s not a huge deal, but if something is going on health-wise we really need to know.