Forcing free range hens into laying in coop??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yourbadd, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. yourbadd

    yourbadd Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2009
    Cardington, Oh
    I have a flock of 15 with 11 that are laying. They are 30 week old Americanas, Buff Orpington and Barred Rocks. However, I free range them and only 4 or 5 come back to the coop to lay. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find where the others are laying [​IMG] I have customers wanting eggs and only being able to collect 4-5 daily I can't keep up with the demand. The girls have unrestricted access to about 3 acres of yard bordered on all sides by either soybean or corn fields.

    My questions is...can I keep the hens locked up in their coop for a few days-with water and food of course? Will this "train" them into laying in the coop or will they just revert back to their old habits when they are turned out again?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Normally, keeping them in for 5-7 days does the trick. Also, if you find that 90% have laid by noon, which is quite typical, you can let them go ranging at that point. This has worked very well for me. If your intent is egg production and egg sales, having them consistently laying in the nesting box isn't an option.
     
  3. ellieroo

    ellieroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2008
    I have the same trouble It is an Easter egg hunt every day. Hope this works for both of us! [​IMG]
     
  4. yourbadd

    yourbadd Out Of The Brooder

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    32
    Jul 2, 2009
    Cardington, Oh
    Thanks for the input. This was never a problem for my previous flock as they were well behaved ladies and always laid in the nest boxes!! They ever patiently waited outside the coop for their turn!

    I will start their confinement tomorrow. I'm done with the daily egg hunts!!

    Thanks again
     

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