This year our hens have been VERY hard on the grass this winter, in places it's down to mud and we're going to have to replant some fairly large areas come spring. They presently have the run of a fully fenced, moderately treed acre, and do a good job putting themselves to bed at night and laying eggs in their coop, and we lock them up at night. Sometimes a hen will decide to lay a clutch of eggs under a tree, or fern, but usually when I remove the eggs and put a soccer ball in the makeshift nest they go right back to the coop. Here's the problem: We have a good sized area of the BACK of the property which is not landscaped, which we don't care if they tear up. We'd like to limit them to this area with temporary fencing while we regrow the grass. Their coop is near the FRONT of the yard. We can't make a "tunnel" or "path" very easily at all to the temporary area, as it would completely block the big double gates we use daily, including for regular yard chores like the riding mower or wheelbarrow moving where a little chicken fence would be an interference. I'd be happy to build them a little egg laying coop, as it were, that could go in the back area. My question is, do you think would they use it, or would I just be "training" my hens to lay eggs all over the place? There is a row of nice bushy cedars they like to hang out under, and I do see that being a splendid place to lay eggs. I know one suggestion would be to keep the girls locked in their coop with the smaller attached run until eggs are laid each day. The three problems with this are 1) I've got a couple hens I'm pretty sure would start abusing the youngest hens if they were confined long, 2) They make a real ruckus when I even let them out "late" by their perception, and my close neighbors wouldn't appreciate all that noise for a few hours every morning and 3) I've seen the girls lay eggs and nearly every hour of the day, which leads me back to problems one and two if I keep them locked up. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this issue!