So here with the days getting very short, our chickens have cut their laying in half. They were laying one egg a day a piece, almost every day, like about 6 a week per hen. Now we are down to about three per week per hen.
I had heard that if you give them supplemental light in their coop in the winter, they keep laying better, so we had been thinking about doing that. But as I looked in to it more, it seems that it is kind of stressful on the hens to keep them laying with no break. AND (like human females) the hens are born with all the ova already inside them that they will ever have. So if you keep them laying year round, it just means they will have fewer years of laying as they use up the supply faster.
So we decided to keep our hens natural. Natural is how I do plants, so it makes sense to manage our hens the same way. They still seem very happy and healthy. They apparently "like" us, at least they follow us around the yard a lot, come to check on what we are doing, and come when they are called (as a flock, they do not respond to or recognize their individual names at all; chickens may not have as strong a sense of individuality as people and dogs do, since they are such flock animals). They are very well-behaved, come when we want them to go back in their coop, lay all their eggs in the nest boxes and no where else, and almost never poop in the nest box.
At one point we went away and left the chickens free ranging in the back yard for a couple hours. When we came back, our next door neighbor told us he had a chicken in his back yard. He was making elaborate plans for how to get it back in our yard, but as soon as it saw us, it immediately flew back over the fence and came to us!
We love our little pet hens!!