I imagine most chicken keepers can remember the excitement they felt when they discovered the first egg in the nest box. Our ladies have been laying for a week now and each day we are happy to discover the small eggs in their straw bed. The first week we collected 14 eggs!
I suspected that egg laying was soon to begin when I noticed a change in the chickens' behavior. In particular they were more boisterous and started pecking at my shoes and the ring on my finger. Seeing this change and noting that they were 17 weeks old, I decided to open the nest boxes and fill them with straw. Besides the times when they were given watermelon and apple peelings, I had never seen such a frenzy in the coop until they were given straw. All three nest boxes were demolished in a matter of minutes! The coop was a mess when I returned each evening. After 3 days of re-making their boxes, the straw was finally left alone.