Free Range Egg Laying Questions from a Noob!

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11 Years
Sep 21, 2008
Lehigh Valley, Pa
We have 6 free range chickens (1 rooster and 5 pullets). They roam the property (open and wooded) during the day and then typically roost in a tree next to their pen or on top of their pen at night.
They never go inside the pen (or the tiny coop/nesting boxes DH built).

We found our first nine eggs this weekend (had no idea they started laying) in our daughter's "clubhouse" an 8x10 shed with a loft, deck and windows my DH built for her.
We have kept looking there every day since, but no eggs. Today, my DH found six eggs behind our garage. there any way to get the pullets to lay in one area? Do we need to build a larger coop? Will pullets lay one per day (roughly) once they start?

I really appreciate any info. I am off to search!

Usually they lay three days and take a day off and as they age it's goes to two days and take a day off. Depending on what types of chickens you have also. What I would do with the eggs situation is keep them confined to their coop run area for two weeks to get them used to roosting there and than they may also start using the nest boxes also. Are they low enough? They shouldn't be more than 18 inches off ground for reg sized chickens.
I guess I was fortunate that my girls starting to lay coincided with the time we were moving them to their permanent coop. They were locked up to learn the coop was home and got used to the nesting boxes in the process.
I think locking them up for a bit until they get used to laying in the nest boxes is your only choice unless you actually like easter egg hunting year round.
I free-range too, but so far my girls have been good about going back to the coop to lay their eggs. They do have one spot, under the bike shed, that they spend alot of time at. I check there once a day, but so far all the eggs have been in the coop.

I've read that some people on the forum keep theirs locked up until a certain time of day, when most of the egg-layings been done and then turn them out.

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