Free range and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crooked stripe, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    Will the hens go back to the coop to lay. If not what would be the best approach to the problem. I have 5 weeks till egg laying is suppose to start so just wandering what to expect. John
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I free range and most eggs end up in the coop... some outside though and not much I can do about it other than check about a dozen spots a week to make sure they are not putting more eggs in it.
  3. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It's like Easter every day, then?[​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  4. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    With my original batch of chickens, once I moved them from the brooder out to the coop, I kept them in the coop/run for a few weeks before I let them start free ranging. I also put a golf ball in each nest box. I have not had any issues with eggs not being in the nestboxes.

    Hopefully my newest additions will pick up the habit, as they should start laying anytime now...

    Good luck!
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Mine lay inside the coop sometimes on the floor but most of the time in the nesting boxes. I have read where others have to search the back forty to find their eggs. [​IMG]
  6. MRNpoultry

    MRNpoultry Songster

    Mar 2, 2008
    Gibsonville, NC
    Mine free range and go back to the coop to lay every day.
  7. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    Mine also free-range and go back into the coop to lay and if I forget to prop the door open and the wind blows it shut they wander around the hen house making loud bak-bak-bak noises until I realize what the problem is and let them in. I have found eggs outside the coop when the poor hen couldn't get in, but they were right outside the door. Poor babies!!!!!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  8. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    if they are hiding eggs just wait till later in the day to let them out,thats what I do
  9. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    When my hens started laying for the first time they were free ranging all the time and there were a couple that I was having problems with laying in my neighbor's barn. Because they didn't start laying till fall, we were about to put them up for the winter. The next spring, after being cooped up right next to their nesting boxes, I had no problems. I also have lucked out that all my chickens use the same nest. I come out to find a nice little pile of eggs every day.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  10. smoothmule

    smoothmule Crowing

    Apr 12, 2008
    Buffalo, Missouri
    When my son brought some hens home they were older hens so I kept them penned in the coop for over 6 months. During that time, I spent time with them so they knew me and would follow me around for treats when I came to feed them. When they began to slow and stop laying in the late fall, I started turning them out a few hours a day and by then I could call them back to the coop with some feed. I never fed them outside the coop. In the spring, I had stopped letting them out until they had been laying a few weeks and they had established where they were going to lay then I turned them out every morning and closed the door at night. They always laid in the nest boxes and they always were on the roost at night.

    I still keep them up in the spring until they are laying well before I let them free range but the old girls know the routine and the younger one's seem to learn from them but I always give them time to develop habits of laying in the coop before they are free ranged.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: