fenced to free roaming and less eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 1muttig, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. 1muttig

    1muttig In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2013
    Lexington, sc
    I have 8 sweet Rhode Island Reds and they are 1 yr old. My husband finally convinced me to let them free roam and locked up at night. We started the free roaming 29 July '13. I was getting 6 to 8 eggs a day when they were fenced up and now I do good to get 3 to 4 a day. I'm in Lexington, S.C. Could it be the weather, could they be laying somewhere in my yard, or is it such a big life change that is messing them up? Someone pls. help me! I love it when they follow me around like I'm their mom. It's the 1st time that I have chickens and I'm loving it !!!!!!
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There are several possibilities. They may have found another spot to lay. They often lay fewer eggs in hot weather. Any change can stress them a bit, and that can decrease laying. A predator might be eating some of them; here, it's often a chicken (rat) snake when eggs start decreasing in number. I'm sure they are enjoying their freedom, though, and I hope you get it sorted out!
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    They may also be slowing up due to molt.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    They're laying somewhere in the yard. Do an intensive egg hunt, even the most unlikely places. Anywhere under a bush/shrub, behind a trash can, any small hidey hole.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    When my egg numbers unexpectedly drop, it is almost always because they have found somewhere else to lay. Sit out near them in the morning, until you hear the egg song, often times that will help you find it.

    If you just confine them for a few days, put a rock or a golf ball in each nest, they should start laying just where you want them too, and then you can let them go again. They like to lay in the same spot, but every so often, they get a whim to change.

    Mrs K
  6. Chickery Chick

    Chickery Chick Chirping

    Jul 27, 2013
    Like Mrs. K said. Lock them up for a few days, then they can't hide them from you. lol then you'll be able to rule out if they are laying in the yard some place or if it is just the heat.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013

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