Found where the rascals were laying their eggs!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Beekissed, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I have 6 hens that I freerange and I live very much in the open, not many hidey-holes in which to sneak off and lay their eggs. The number of eggs I was getting was pretty inconsistent....1 or 2 some days, then 3 but never more than that. So the other night we plucked them off the roost and looked at and measured their egg shutes. [​IMG] Well, I was only certain of one that is definitely NOT laying and her name will soon be Stewpot...but a few of them weren't real obvious. Well, I kept them in the henhouse until 4pm one day and got 5 eggs!!! Then I started looking around and under one of the outbuildings we found 13 eggs in one place. Put wire around the base of the buildings and let them go around noon today and only got one egg. There is absolutely nowhere else for these chickens to go to lay but the henhouse but I can't understand getting 5 eggs one day and 1 egg the next. Will keep on searching.... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  2. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Songster

    Dec 1, 2007
    Princeton BC Canada
    LOL, thats like mine, I have about 25 free range, so I find eggs everywhere. I sold a rabbit on the weekend and left the cage open and I came home after the sale and found 5 eggs in the cage. I have since converted it to a 3 compartment laying house and they seem to like it. I still get random eggs once and awhile. The ducks like to lay theirs in the pond, so every morning I have to go out and fish my two eggs out.
  3. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Another option, if they lay in the morning, is to wait until they get done laying to let them out.

    Good luck figuring out their hiding place.
  4. newnanchic

    newnanchic Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    Newnan, Georgia
    We don't let ours out to free range until 2:45 pm (That is when the school bud runs) and I let the boys do their "chores" letting them out , collecting the eggs, then at 6:00 They finish their chores by putting them back up. Keep in mind they are only 3 and 7 so they are helping!!! And they love to collect those eggs.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I know...I have resigned myself to not letting them out until late afternoon now, but it feels like a punishment! I know I feel great about the new morning air and sun and I know they are dying to get see, I don't have a chicken run of any kind. There really is no place for such a thing in the configuration of my yard, so the poor things have to stay in the henhouse all day or out to the open yard. Well, one whole side of the henhouse is open from ceiling to floor, covered with wire, so they do get fresh air and the morning sun. It still feels mean, though. I'm am hoping to establish some outside nests in some old washtubs they seem obsessed about. That way, if they feel the compulsion to lay outside I may be able to find the eggs! These eggers came from my sister and they were not trained to use the nest boxes at all...she just lets them run wild and she finds eggs in her truck seats and everything! The next batch I get will be introduced to nest boxes first, before letting them explore the great outdoors. I don't know if that will work but the last bunch of chickens I freeranged always layed in the nest boxes, never outside. And they had plenty of places to go off and hide. I guess I inherited someone else's problem chicks! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. CamasMom

    CamasMom Hatching

    Mar 27, 2008
    Camas, WA
    I know what you mean about feeling like it's mean not to let them out. We used to let ours free range (although this was before they started laying), but we were losing them to coyotes. Stupid coyotes are out all day here, I just saw one 30 minutes ago snooping around. We live in Washington across from Portland, OR on a hill in the country. Today it's snowing - which is normal for our elevation, but definitely not for the valley floor.

    Anyway, mine seemed to do very well laying in their coop. They do have a run, but it's not like the great outdoors. So now we only let them out when we're going to be out there. It's really a bummer!
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Fortunately I don't have a predator problem though I live at Hawk and Coyote Central Station....I have two very good dogs on an above ground invisible fence that patrol the yard night and day. They go crazy if a buzzard flies too low! The older one does all the bark and the younger one does all the far he has a coon, a groundhog, a large river rat and countless mice, voles and moles to his credit. They even kept the crows away from my new corn last year. Don't bother the chickens any, though. I love my pups! I like an animal that is obedient and earns his keep! Too bad can't find a man who can do the same.....LOL, sorry guys, I just had to! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    You only need to keep them locked in for a week or so to "re-train" them to use their nest boxes. Chickens like habits. If my free-rangers start laying eggs elsewhere I just keep them locked in the henhouse for 5-7 days. then when I let them free-range again, they lay eggs back in the henhouse nests.
  9. CamasMom

    CamasMom Hatching

    Mar 27, 2008
    Camas, WA
    We need to do that. We have a wonderful Aussie that is great - but hubby needs to put the invisible fence down (we have had it for a year now....sigh). He is just barely a year old, so he does have a little chicken chasing problem - he can't quite figure out if he's supposed to play with them, or herd them. lol. We do have a shock collar for him because he has so much fur there is no way to actually get a reaction out of him by yanking his choke chain. So when we do finally get that all working, we'll have to run around after him for a day or so giving him the little jolt to line him out.

    Wish I could do that with my man! (Same, just couldn't resist!) [​IMG]
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I know what you mean, CamasMom! When we first got these chickens, the youngest dog (1 yr) was making aggressive moves towards them. He is Lab/Border Collie cross and he moves like a BC, with the head low and the aggressive stare. I caught him at it 3 times and all three times I came barreling out of the house and rolled him over, growled and shook his neck hide. Then I caught a hen for him and let him smell it and lick it. When he was really getting into the licking I turned that hen around and she pecked him twice...hard! He doesn't even LOOK at those hens anymore! I went away for a long weekend and let the chickens free range...both dog and chickens were still alive when I came back! My older Lab never pays the chickens any mind at all.

    I tell you what, I used to have the in-ground electric fence and I hated it! If it stops working you have to dig up all the splices and check them and sometimes the line works its way to the surface and gets damaged. This fence I have now is a dream! You plug in a transmitter box and adjust the boundary with a little dial. You can move the box anywhere to change the central location of the signal. No wires, no digging, no hassle! I take it with me when I take the dogs on vacation. You can get an adapter and plug it into your cigarette lighter and set a perimeter around your car, boat, cabin...whatever. I have a fenced in yard, approx. 1 1/2 acre with 3 gates. I just set the signal to encircle the house and the gates and keep the dogs OUT of the circle of signal. That way they can't leave the yard if a gate is open, can't make the areas around the porches trampled and muddy and can guard the henhouse and orchard all they want. You can buy one from Petsafe and they aren't much more expensive than the inground fence. Save the hubby some work....and we all know that goes over well! [​IMG]

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