Free range chickens not laying well when I have to keep up - is this normal?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Enimo, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Enimo

    Enimo New Egg

    Mar 22, 2015
    I have great egg layers - black australorps, barred rocks, leghorns, etc and they usually free range until the door closes on the coop at night. I lost a few to predators and I am now letting them out less. I usually gather 8-12 eggs a day. I have had a couple days recently - today being one - that I only gathered one egg. I had a snake in the coop one day but I "eliminated" him. Is it normal for chickens to boycott laying when they are put up? Also, my Ameraucana was laying an extra large blue egg almost daily and hasn't laid the last 3 days. I have 12 hens and one rooster. When they are out they range on 6 acres. When they are in they have a coop that is 10x20 with one large waterer and one large feeder of layer crumbles. Should I add different food? It has been cooler lately - 50's at night. Any ideas?? Thanks
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It maybe just the change in routine that has them a little cheesed off. Chickens are creatures of habit, so keeping them in the coop when they are used to free ranging may be causing them a bit of stress, and hence laying less.

  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    How old are they?
  4. littlechicks02

    littlechicks02 Out Of The Brooder

    Are they perhaps a bit mistrustful of the coop boxes, and laying in hidey-holes when they free range as a "safer" alternative place after being spooked by the snake and/or recent deaths.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by