Finally, after much work and devising, we are back in the egg business. I have built many nests of varying descriptions but the chickens won't have anything to do with any of them. Instead they creep around behind the nests in a small dark place and lay their eggs in the floor. We put some straw there and its fine with us if they want to lay there. We are just glad that finally after all of our hard work, we have eggs to eat and sell. We have learned a lesson. Hens want dark small places to lay their eggs. We tried keeping the chicken house dim but that wasn't enough. The nest itself needs to be pretty dark, not just dim.
We have been averaging more and more eggs per day and yesterday we got 17. Now we have to figure out what to do when we go on vacation. We will be gone for 3 or 4 days and the eggs won't get collected for all that time. We are also trying to figure a way to give the chickens enough feed to last for that time. As for water we will just fill up many containers including 5 gallon buckets that they can drink out of. I am afraid that leaving the eggs for that long will get the hens started eating them again, but we have little choice. Anyway, its going well now and we are keeping our fingers crossed that it will last.