Here's the math for my chickens - I have about 10 full-size egg-laying chickens; they have eaten a few hundred dollars of food this summer and laid about 10 eggs. When they do bother to lay an egg, they go ahead and crack it open and eat it themselves! On the other hand, my guineas that roam free have laid hundreds of eggs this summer; too bad we don't just eat them, but we do put them in the incubator or sell them. As a last chance, I re-arranged the chickens today; the big layers moved to the smaller size of the coop (still way more room than they need,) but it has more laying boxes. We moved the smaller, yet to lay, chickens in the bigger side. My motivation in not mixing them is to hope that the large batch of younger chickens won't learn the older one's bad behavior. We also placed a few Easter eggs in the boxes, which is supposed to discourage them from cracking the eggs. If this doesn't work, they are leaving in one large group to whoever wants them from Craigslist! I get why the Amish replace their layers every year; my three year old chickens aren't doing much.
While the boys and I were trimming wings and re-arranging chickens, I asked Julia to feed them. She decided to give them each a catered lunch.
We'll see if they appreciate it enough to lay an egg or two.