Just before Christmas I discovered a stash of eggs in an ornamental grass in my flowerbed. I thought everything had gone back to normal as we were getting 4-5 eggs a day in the nesting box again, but yesterday we only had two eggs and today so far nothing. What is making me suspicious is that the chickens are making those proud "I've laid an egg noises" but in odd places and not near the hen house. I'm beginning to wonder if they are taking to the hedges when the new Cuckoo Marans are feeling cold and decide to hang out in the house all day. The Marans, despite being newcomers, are definitely the bossiest chickens, roost on the nesting box and snap easily at the other five. It's also possible this is why the eggs are sometimes next to the perch rather than in the nesting box.
I've now been out three times today hunting around for the mystery eggs. And this in distinctly subzero temperatures so not fun. I am told (by Suzanne, my local chicken guru) that you can work out where they are laying if you stand still and watch them. Eventually they are so daft they forget you're there (or your friends and probably the chickens die laughing at how gullible you are). Right now standing still outside would lead to frostbite so I think I shall my egg detection work until later in the week.