Finding Free Range Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Araucana16, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    485
    21
    93
    Jun 18, 2013
    Denver, CO
    I just assumed that there would be a thread on this....

    How does it work if you have free range birds that lay eggs? Obviously they would probably lay the majority (say, 80%) in their nest boxes, but assuming you have 10 birds, you might lose 2 eggs a day... which would really add up! Do people that free range notice the low numbers and go on a scavenger hunt? Are there any other ideas for that?


    One last thing. How does free ranging work exactly? I had three hens whom I was having good luck free ranging up until they were about 5 months... and I let my father care for them for a few weeks. Gosh, what a mistake. He let them wander the neighborhood and in the month and a half I had them after that, they refused to stay within yard boundaries despite my best efforts. Do those that free range simply open the coop and hope that they will return at night, and lay eggs in findable places?

    Sorry I'm trying to know everything possible so I can make sure that my new flock has the best chance of a happy life as long as possible. Thanks so much [​IMG]
     
  2. MadabtChickens

    MadabtChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    307
    8
    103
    Jan 24, 2012
    near Branson, MO
    I do not have a problem with my hens laying anywhere other than in the coop. The only time I did have problems is when I was free ranging them every day and my new layers decided they didn't need to lay in the coop. I just kept them in the coop/run for a week and the older hens reminded them where they're supposed to lay. We have too many predators out here, so I only free range when I'm home now. They have taught themselves to stay close to the coop, so really don't know how you would set boundaries for free rangers.
     
  3. meloreskovich

    meloreskovich Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    22
    Aug 14, 2013
    Can you fence in your yard? My city lot is fenced in. Honestly, I would probably feel uncomfortable free ranging in the city without a fence (besides our local laws state they must be fenced and have a coop)

    Has anything changed in their/your life recently? My consistent egg layer (which I rescued so I don't really know how old she is) stopped laying when I purchased a new coop with an actual nesting box. Then I found eggs on the side of the garage in a pretty little nest she made.

    I was going to keep her locked in for a few days so she would learn to lay in the nesting box, but I couldn't (she's definitely more pet than anything else lol) after a few days she started laying in the nesting box yay!! I think she just needed to figure out that the new coop was home :)

    Hope this helps!!
     
  4. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    485
    21
    93
    Jun 18, 2013
    Denver, CO
    In our neighborhood fencing is illegal. I may just have to make sure they have a good sized run, and hope that the 30 minutes I can scrounge up after school and cross country is enough to keep them sane [​IMG]
     
  5. meloreskovich

    meloreskovich Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    22
    Aug 14, 2013
    I've never heard of fencing being illegal...hmmm...

    Yes, I would think a good sized run. Maybe try to give them things that will keep them busy throughout the day? Like throwing in corn cobs, hanging lettuce leaves, etc?
     
  6. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    91
    128
    Mar 19, 2013
    Casstown, OH
    Fencing illegal? That is a new one. And, one that makes me soooo glad to live outside of city limits where I don't have to put up with other people telling me what I can do with my own property.

    Anyway, if fencing is illegal, what about shrubs? Select a variety that grows really densely and plant them very closely.
     
  7. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    485
    21
    93
    Jun 18, 2013
    Denver, CO
    Haha, heres another stupid neighborhood rule : no bushes over 3 feet high [​IMG]
     
  8. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    91
    128
    Mar 19, 2013
    Casstown, OH
    Wow. And do they help pay the mortgage in exchange for telling you how you can use of your property? [​IMG]
     
  9. meloreskovich

    meloreskovich Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    22
    Aug 14, 2013
    I'm guessing its a deed restricted subdivision? We have LOTS of those here in Florida!
     
  10. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    485
    21
    93
    Jun 18, 2013
    Denver, CO
    Oh my HOA is a large, large, *******. Chickens aren't even allowed because of several things that to me make little sense, but what are you gonna do? 1) They attract predators. I hate to point out that most of the rich, annoying people in our neighborhood have those little yappy dogs, and most of them make fine coyote food. Chickens stay in metal coops when they aren't being watched and in solid wood places at night. Those little dogs prance around the neighborhood unattended at night. What do they expect? 2) Well it costs a lot to say you can have chickens. I'm just not sure what to say to that one. Sure, it costs some money to change an ordinance, but you don't follow half the other rules in that thing, so why can't you just decide to let me not follow that one? 3) Chickens smell and make lots of noise. Clearly they haven't been around them. 4) Chickens are a sign of poverty and we are a RICH neighborhood. I think you spend more on chickens than dogs.

    There was lots more and despite the cold hard facts I presented them with, the HOA just made up excuses that made less than no sense and ignored me. So I'm keeping them down the street on a farm. Which isn't allowed to have fences except for the barbed wire fences for their 3 horses.


    Sorry if I'm rambling. In short, I think I'll skip free ranging...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by