Do your free range chickens lay outside?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3littlechickies, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. 3littlechickies

    3littlechickies Chirping

    Jun 29, 2013
    Castro Valley, CA

    I am worried that when my girls start to lay, that they will lay somewhere outside! If you leave your coop door open will they go in by themselves to lay? I don't want my dog to find their eggs outside and eat them! Or should I leave them in the coop a little later for them to lay? Thanks so much! [​IMG]
  2. Mathew544

    Mathew544 In the Brooder

    May 27, 2013
    Danville, PA
    I've heard some people say they keep them in the coop until they lay, but it depends when they lay. Mine free range over a large 2 acre property and have a barn to go into. They just started laying and always come back to the barn to lay in old troughs (I've read they like dark, hidden places). But mine haven't been laying until late afternoon. You will just have to wait until they start and see what happens. I have heard of hens laying outside though so just make sure they have a good nesting box. Good luck!
  3. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Mine stayed in the coop and run until they had been laying for a few months. Then we felt set up for them to free range. The hens come back to the nesting box to lay. I say that because we still have eggs in the box daily and I haven't found any strays out in the yard.

  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Most of my large flock lay eggs in the coop nest boxes. I do have four BCM/Silkie gals -sisters - who hide nests and go broody on 'em, though. Not too awful for fifty-ish hens...

    The flock ranges freely over two-thirds of an acre. The Penelopes (those four identical BCM/Silkie hens) make nests close to the house and coop, so I don't have to hunt much for 'em, though.
  5. sweettea75

    sweettea75 In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2013
    I put fake eggs in the nesting boxes and my girls have all layed in the boxes every time, even though we let them free range. They go back to the coop and lay then run back out to join the flock.
    1 person likes this.

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