Here we are going into the dead of winter in Wisconsin, and my 6 laying hens each laid an egg! All those soup scraps pay off! ..... and it helps to have the right breed of chicken. Four of my hens are Red Star Sex-Links, (that lay brown eggs) one is an Araucana (that lays a green egg), and I have a 2 year old Leghorn (that still lays a huge white egg almost every day). The carton of free eggs my kids get to take home every little bit is very colorful :-) I have a couple of banty hens that didn't start laying yet, and that's ok, because their job will start in the spring. I bought them because the description in the Murray McMurray catelog (http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/) said they would go broody easy. That means they want to sit on eggs to hatch them out. Not a trait you necessarily want in your laying hens. When a hen goes broody, she won't lay eggs. All she wants to do is sit on eggs. However, this year I want my little bantys to hatch out some duck eggs for me. Last year my ducks did a terrible job of it!
I've had chickens for many years, and I have to say the Red Star's are the best. They started laying an egg everyday since about 5 months old. I ordered them after I read an article about them in Mother Earth News. It said not only do they lay eggs early and every day, but the omega 3 fatty acids in them were far higher then any other breed. That sold me.