Free range and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fc, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. fc

    fc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2010
    I've been letting the birds roam free but I'm seeing a downside- eggs don't get laid in the boxes sometimes. I hate to confine them, but maybe there's no choice to correct them laying eggs in the brush?
     
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    You can keep the in the run later, only let them out when they have had a chance to finish.

    How old are they? Younger hens may not be in the habit of "this is my safe nest" so they will lay wherever.
    You can also try to make the brush less attractive to them, I'm not sure how.

    My girls rarely have a problem, I think maybe 3 or 4 eggs in 5 years of having birds here. If they are free ranging, they hightail it back to the coop when it's egg time.
     
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2010
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    Mine did that too, I just left them in the coop a few more hours, added a curtain to the nest boxes and found all my eggs inside. I have one girl who likes to lay hers on the floor under the roost...
    Yesterday they didn't get let out till noon...I had all 9 eggs in ONE box....so they most certainly have a preference....I used golf balls also....it helped encourage the laying.
     
  4. fc

    fc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2010
    They are a little over a year old. They lay midday to late in the day, usually. I never considered any covering for the nesting boxes, but that's not been a problem. What are you using for a curtain? Maybe the ping pong and golf balls need to go back in. Thanks.
     
  5. Breezy_Living

    Breezy_Living Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2011
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    Do you notice a pattern to when they lay (certain time of day)? One of my hens just starting laying in the late morning so by afternoon I will open the gate on certain days and let them free range if the hawks aren't flying around. They have a nice little fenced "yard" around their coop so they still get to pick & scratch, take dust baths, and stretch their wings even if they're not free ranging that day.
     
  6. fc

    fc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2010
    Generally they lay eggs 1200-5 p.m., so lockup would have to be full time. Actually, right now egg production is near zilch with the cold snap we have going.
     

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