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What time do you let your hens out of the coop?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

My girls are just about at the age to start laying...( I hope)!! Should I keep them inside until late morning to make sure they lay in the coop? They are totally free range and once I let them out, they have full run of the farm. Will they start laying somewhere else unless I train them to use their nest boxes?

post #2 of 25

I never let mine out until they produce some eggs.  Once I succumbed to the pleading and pacing and started letting them out earlier.  Later I found a nest of twelve eggs in a patch of poison ivy.  Hens are not trustworthy and will not always go back to a nest box to lay!

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post #3 of 25

Mine have always gone inside and I did not keep them locked up until they layed in the nest box and I am on four years with new ones added with the old each year.
I should add that the only time they laid outside was when the door was blown shut and they couldn't get in.  I hadn't opened the chicken door in the back because I had my coop divided up for babies and the chicken door was on the baby side.  Now I make sure that is never blocked off because it can never blow shut.


Edited by fasbendera - 9/20/09 at 11:52am
Barred Rocks, White Rock, Cochins, Yellow Japanes bantam, Australorp, Black bantam, Ameraucanas, Cornish X (pullet), Buff Orpington, RR  Silver Laced Wyandottes, Gold Laced Wyandottes, Mille Fleur d'Uccles.  Diversified and Lovely.
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Barred Rocks, White Rock, Cochins, Yellow Japanes bantam, Australorp, Black bantam, Ameraucanas, Cornish X (pullet), Buff Orpington, RR  Silver Laced Wyandottes, Gold Laced Wyandottes, Mille Fleur d'Uccles.  Diversified and Lovely.
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post #4 of 25

Ours have been laying for over a month now and I've been letting them out early in the morning the past couple of days and I believe they are all coming to the coop to lay... yesterday we got 22 eggs out of 30... everyone is not laying yet, but every week acouple more start.

Lots of Chickens, 5 guineas, 8 ducks, 2 ducklings, goats: 2 does, 2 bucklings, 1 doeling and 1 wether... and a painted mare
My blogs... http://jennifer-yates.blogspot.com and http://jennifer-ourlittlefarm.blogspot.com

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Lots of Chickens, 5 guineas, 8 ducks, 2 ducklings, goats: 2 does, 2 bucklings, 1 doeling and 1 wether... and a painted mare
My blogs... http://jennifer-yates.blogspot.com and http://jennifer-ourlittlefarm.blogspot.com

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post #5 of 25

I cant let mine out all the time anymore so I wait till early evening to give them a little time outside.  But when I was they always went back inside to lay.  Maybe keep them inside later for a couple weeks till they really learn where they are supposed to go.

RIR and EE's
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RIR and EE's
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post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ams3651 

I cant let mine out all the time anymore so I wait till early evening to give them a little time outside.  But when I was they always went back inside to lay.  Maybe keep them inside later for a couple weeks till they really learn where they are supposed to go.


Makes sense to me! smile  If you CAN wait till later.  I work a decent ways from home, so I don't have the option to wait till later...

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #7 of 25

They won't all necessarily lay first thing in the morning so unless you're going to keep them cooped 24/7 until they're all laying there's really no way to force them to use the nest boxes.

Mine are let out first thing and are free range all day -- weekdays this means they're out earlier than weekends when we sleep a little later. Either way they always find their way to the nest boxes when they're ready to lay. It's not foolproof, but I'd say don't treat it as a problem until it becomes one. Give them a chance to choose to use the box and if you have an issue with finding eggs elsewhere address it when it arises. smile

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.   - E.B. White

 

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

 

The best way to be missed when you're gone is to stand for something while you're here. - Seth Godin

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I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.   - E.B. White

 

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

 

The best way to be missed when you're gone is to stand for something while you're here. - Seth Godin

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post #8 of 25

I was letting mine out in the morning to free range.  Out of 8 chickens 2 of them always laid in the nest box(cinnamon queens), the EE's and other cinnamon queen would occasionally lay in the nest.  One day I said that's it and followed one of the chickens.  There was a nest with 18 eggs, after I found that one they stopped laying there.  Next thing I know I find another nest with six eggs. 

Now my chickens stay in until around 2:00.  When we open it up there is 6 eggs.  So from now on no free range in the morning. They have to lay before they play!

Mom to 3 wonderful,active,nervefrazzling boys.  Wife to wonderful, nervefrazzling man.  Missing my Mom, but learning to live without her.  Life is mostly good, I make lemonade out of the lemons when I can!
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Mom to 3 wonderful,active,nervefrazzling boys.  Wife to wonderful, nervefrazzling man.  Missing my Mom, but learning to live without her.  Life is mostly good, I make lemonade out of the lemons when I can!
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post #9 of 25

On my daughter's suggestion,I put golf balls in the nesting boxes, to give the girls the idea of where to lay eggs. I let mine out at around 8:30 am and usually have one or two eggs at that time. Then I check later in the day for more. So far the girls seem to be returning to the nesting boxes during the day to lay.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamagardener 

I was letting mine out in the morning to free range.  Out of 8 chickens 2 of them always laid in the nest box(cinnamon queens), the EE's and other cinnamon queen would occasionally lay in the nest.  One day I said that's it and followed one of the chickens.  There was a nest with 18 eggs, after I found that one they stopped laying there.  Next thing I know I find another nest with six eggs. 

Now my chickens stay in until around 2:00.  When we open it up there is 6 eggs.  So from now on no free range in the morning. They have to lay before they play!


Thank you.  I'm glad to hear that mine are not the only ones who don't regard the nest box as "home sweet home"!  I was about to go read all those other posts to them and ask where i went wrong...

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