1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Do you get less eggs when you free range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Wednesday, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Wednesday

    Wednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    18
    108
    Aug 3, 2013
    Oviedo, FL
    For the last few days I have been getting virtually no eggs when I have let the flock out to free range all day. I know the obvious answer would be that they are laying outside the box but except for one hen who made a little nest under a bush and laid twice in it over the last week, I am not finding eggs in the places they hang out. I have heard chickens don't like change and the heat index has been 105 degrees here in Orlando so I am wondering if that's it. We have 7 acres and the hens don't go more than 100 yards in any direction away from the hen house. I was letting them out for a little while in the mornings and evenings in previous months and began letting them out full time this week. Has this happened to anyone else or have suggestions other than just locking them up again so they have to lay in the boxes? We got one egg out of 5 layers today and 2 yesterday.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  2. MadabtChickens

    MadabtChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    307
    8
    103
    Jan 24, 2012
    near Branson, MO
    My hens take more breaks when it's hot. I actually get less eggs when they're not free ranging. I think they don't like all the extra company in the coop when they're trying to lay. The most eggs I've gotten were when it got cold last winter.
     
  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,210
    444
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    A month ago when it was pushing 100 around here, I noticed a cutback in egg production out of my 19 hens. Now they are back to normal output. And the same thing happened last year, when it got really hot. So in my experience, that's the way it goes. They definitely are not as active(Who is) when it's really hot out.
     
  4. chickenkeeper13

    chickenkeeper13 Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 21, 2013
    Your chickens are probably hiding the eggs somewhere. For instance, i did not get any eggs for the past 10 days, and today I say my americaunaunder my porch and I found 9 eggs in a little hole where they had been laying.
    Try not to let them get away from you as much when you free range them. Other wise you will end up like me ;)
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Wednesday

    Wednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    18
    108
    Aug 3, 2013
    Oviedo, FL
    Ahhh! That's a bummer on all those eggs. We are going to the beach tomorrow and will keep them in the run and coop tomorrow since we won't be home. it will be interesting to see how many eggs we get. The 16 hens we have are just sitting and panting under the palmetto bushes today. Only 6 are laying on a regular basis and I'm waiting for the pullets to start laying. It is taking forever! I gave them fresh fruit including watermelon and cantaloupe today and they are hardly even getting up to enjoy it. It's about to rain here so hopefully it will cool things down for them. Florida summers are brutal. I was sad I had to buy eggs at the grocery store for the first time in years today. Come on ladies!
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Just chiming in--they won't be laying eggs in the places they usually hang out. Eggs are meant to be hidden away safely for later hatching, so nests are in small, concealed spaces. Look under all bushes, behind trash cans, anywhere you think a bird half as small as your smallest could fit.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Wednesday

    Wednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    18
    108
    Aug 3, 2013
    Oviedo, FL
    Update: left girls in coop and run all day until just now. 5 eggs out of 6 layers today. Only one yesterday during free range. Will do the same tomorrow to see what happens. Still haven't found any hidden eggs. Maybe they were just too distracted being out all day to lay last few days?
     
  8. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,018
    30
    161
    Apr 29, 2013
    Try putting golf balls or decoy eggs in the boxes. I did that before they started laying and they go straight for the boxes, 3 out of 5 are laying. Mine will whine to be let out in the morning before doing any laying, then they'll go in the coop one at a time(or in groups) to start selecting a box. One last thing, mine also free range.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Sounds like you'll be smelling those hidden nests in a few months [​IMG] unless you have something going around eating eggs.....dogs, whatever.
     
  10. Wednesday

    Wednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    18
    108
    Aug 3, 2013
    Oviedo, FL
    I'm sure the snakes, raccoons and weasels will love the eggs outside. We live in the woods. I can only hope they didn't hide them near the house. Put a golf ball in the box today and will pick up some fake eggs. Do you all free range all day or just when you are home?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by