DH decided to free range-the week they start laying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sparkles2307, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    Um, is it just me, or should they be kept locked in (the pen is HUGE just doesnt have the nice, un-pecked grass of the yard) since they are JUST getting ready to lay? They have never been free-ranged, so this is a big change, and they are so excited about it, who knows where they'll decide to lay their eggs. I think that they should get the hang of it before getting let loose...or am I being silly?
  2. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Mullica Twp., NJ
    I opted to let my flock get good and settled in their routine before giving them the freedom of the yard. Like you, I was worried that they wouldn't know where to go when the need to lay came upon them, or that they would hide their eggs all over the yard. I also have other animals (dogs and goats) and I didn't want them tempted to go after any eggs they might find lying around unattended. All in all, I'd probably reccommend leaving them cooped up a bit longer, until they get the hang of laying first... one change at a time or they might get too stressed out.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My free range flock was free ranging long before they started laying, and they always return to the coop to lay. Just depends on the flock, I guess.
  4. yellowchickensmomma

    yellowchickensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    My girls have always been able to free range. They come back to the coop to lay eggs. [​IMG]
  5. suburbanminifarm

    suburbanminifarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    N.San Diego County
    Mine are full time free range (except at dark) and they just know to return to their little home to lay.
  6. busybme

    busybme New Egg

    Jul 9, 2009
    I was checking under the shrubs several times a day, watching for the first egg from my free range girls. I was so sure that they were already laying somewhere on the property and we just weren't finding the eggs!

    But they wander back to the coop mid-morning to lay their beautiful eggs in the nesting boxes each day. They have such good instincts.

    We tried the trick of putting a golf ball in their box to give them the hint. Don't know if that helped or not.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  7. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    Our problem is that being on a large farm our yard is HUGE and half of it is never mowed due due machinery and grazing cattle once a month. So, with 13 outbuildings, countless machines, and a half acre of knee high grass. egg hunting isnt really practical!
  8. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not that I know anything about this.. but I am wondering... would it help if she put fake eggs in the nesting boxes?? Just curious!
  9. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    I plan to put some golf balls in there for sure! Just have to GET around to it lol

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