You know how the old saying goes, "A watched pot never boils"? Well, now I am starting to wonder if the same holds true for watched chickens when it comes to laying eggs. Every morning I check the nest boxes around 10 a.m. because one of my chicken books says that most chickens lay before 10 a.m., but when I see no eggs I don't lose hope and check again around 4 p.m. because another chicken book I've read says that they can lay anytime between daylight and 4 p.m.. I got my chickens a little over two months ago. I researched breeds. I wanted breeds that not only looked unique, but laid different colored eggs so I would know who was laying. I chose an Ameraucana that lays blue, or blue/green eggs, or even a pinkish brown egg (so I've been told), a Black Copper Maran that will lay a dark brown egg, a Blue Cochin that will lay a light brown egg, and I also got a mixed breed chicken that supposedly lays white eggs. Of course, I would not know for sure because my chickens have not laid a single egg! Just to give you a small amount of history on my chickens, two of them, the Ameraucana and the Black Copper Maran were bought at 5 months old, the mixed breed chicken was 6 to 7 months old and was supposedly laying a white egg almost daily, and the Blue Cochin was 3 months old. The 3 month old I knew would not be laying eggs for quite some time as chickens normally start laying between 5 and 6 months old. The 5 month olds should have been laying any day, and the one that was already laying, well that was a given. The first morning I had my chickens I was hoping all day for the mixed breed chicken to lay. She never did, nor did she the next day after that or the next. Then I noticed that she had started molting! So, I "read up" on molting and found that a chicken who goes into a full molt will not lay an egg for 7 to 12 weeks! UGH! She must have started molting due to the stress of the move. So now that it has been over two months since I bought them both of my other chickens and even my cochin should already be laying or starting to lay. Also, the molting chicken has fully molted and sports a set of beautiful new feathers! I don't know what the problem is. I have tried different things. For one, I started getting up really early to let them out so that they would get plenty of daylight. Daylight is very essential to egg laying. 14 hours of daylight is recommended. I think my chickens only get 12 to 13 hours of light right now, though, because they start roosting in their chicken house around 7:30 p.m. and I let them out between 6:30 and 7 a.m.. It only starts to get light at my house around 6:30 a.m.. They are in a wooded area, so maybe the shade could be the problem. I'm not sure. Also, I bumped their layer feed from 16% protein to 22% protein because I was told that maybe their protein levels were too low. I've also solved the mite issue that could have slowed egg production. They get plenty of fresh water and I only feed them a small amount of treats. They do have some grass to graze on, I feed them layer feed, and I see them eating plenty of bugs. I've also put golf balls in their nest boxes and move them in different arrangments from box to box to keep it interesting. Yes, I've lost my mind!!! Maybe I should start crowing in the morning! If it would help, I probably would! Aaaarrrgh!!!! I keep hearing from other chicken owners, "Well, my chickens started laying at 4 months," or, "My chickens started laying at 5 months," or, "I get tons of eggs, because ours are laying everyday right now", or "My chickens even lay in the winter during the short daylight hours." So, I constantly wonder, "What am I doing wrong???". This egg thing can definitely drive a new chicken owner mad! I keep telling myself that maybe I just need to stop obsessing and worrying and just let nature take its course. But I can't help it, I even have dreams about them laying eggs. As for the "golden egg", the ones that my chickens lay will be, because my husband and I have spent quite a lot of money on their house, feed, and chicken gadgets, not to mention my time spent in attempting to keep them happy and in tip top shape! I'm open to any advice! Just incase, you happen to hear someone yelling with joy at the top of her lungs and wonder where the sound is coming from, it is probably me when one of my chickens finally lays her first egg!!! Also, note that the photo of eggs above are not from my chickens, but from my inlaw's chickens who are obviously laying!