Free Range and egg laying.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueyedgurl1, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. blueyedgurl1

    blueyedgurl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2013
    Blairsville, Ga.
    We have 14 hens that are laying. How many eggs should we be getting a day? Some days we will get 4/5 and some days 7/8. We never get more. Also, we free range our hens plus feed organic laying pellets freely. I feel like we should be getting more eggs and have looked for them everywhere. Once we found fifteen eggs in a nest that was hidden. We have no idea how long they had been there, so we tossed them. They haven't laid there since we removed the eggs. We have don't know how many of the hens were actually laying there or if it was just the one we noticed. We have searched high and low and can't seem to find any other hidden nest. The eggs we find are in the nesting boxes. I'm open for suggestions.
     
  2. bobshere

    bobshere Chillin' With My Peeps

    It depends on a lot of things such as age, breed, the light you supply etc. For instance I have five 7 month rsl's. They give me 5 eggs a day 90% of the time but they are production hens. You would have to research your breeds to see what they would typically lay and take age into consideration also as the older they get the less they usually lay.
     
  3. blueyedgurl1

    blueyedgurl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2013
    Blairsville, Ga.
    8 are 1 1/2 yr old buffs-three are 6 mo EE, and three were given to us by the boy scout camp down the road after the summer camping season. No idea of breed or age, but they usually lay. The EE usually give us 2-3 eggs a day. After reading some of the other threads, I'm beginning to wonder if it is just the buffs. They are very friendly, make great brooders and tolerate the cold, but maybe not great layers. Next spring we'll add a different breed to the flock. We've also been going through a lot of feed. We let them out of their run around 8:00 in the morning and bed them down around 7:00pm. They have access to several acres for ranging, plus all the scraps from our family and on Wednesday's church dinner, but they are still going through a 40# bag of feed in a little less than two weeks. We were hoping the sell of the eggs would cover the feed bill.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I wonder if you are feeding more than the chickens at that rate...rodents, wild birds, etc...or could be spillage.

    1 1/2 yo hen need 14-16 hours of light a day to keep laying thru the winter.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests. Leaving them locked in the coop for 2-3 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it.
     
  5. blueyedgurl1

    blueyedgurl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2013
    Blairsville, Ga.
    We thought about other vermin eating the feed. We have the PVC tubes with a cap that feed down with gravity, no spillage. The hen house is pretty tight, so we don't think it is wild birds or squirrels. Maybe mice. How much light are we talking here? Really bright or dim? Will this hurt the rooster, younger hens, or two month old chicks?
     
  6. bobshere

    bobshere Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use an led daylight 8 watt lightbulb ...that's plenty of light however its not a good idea to give that many hour of light to birds younger than 17 weeks old.
     

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