Free Range Hens keep laying Outside

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mooSa, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. mooSa

    mooSa Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Ok I have my hens free everyday from sun rise to sun down, now obviously hens would rather lay outside, but the problem here is to find the eggs. I came up with an idea which was to build a small box with a door and place them outside in spots where they made a form of a nest. Would this work? or are there any other ideas.

    It would be like egg laying locations for them to get used to
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You could try it. I don't think there is any sure-fire method to deal with this. Many people keep them in the first part of the day or even til late afternoon, but if yours are used to this freedom, they might not tolerate that very well.

    Mine free range but always come back to the coop to lay. Maybe make the nest boxes more attractive to them somehow. They like the entrance to be partly hidden, like not visible from the door.
  3. Appytaz

    Appytaz Songster

    Jul 18, 2008
    Central Florida
    Mine free range also. When I locate the nest I mark one egg and take the rest. Also add a golf ball. Collect the new eggs everyday, leaving the marked one and the ball. After a few days of this - just leave the ball. It has worked here for a few weeks with the new girls.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    They won't like it one bit, but you could try locking them in the coop for a few days until they are using the nest boxes consistently. Chances are they'll stick to that once you start letting them loose again.
    My hens free range, but always come back to the coop to lay. Sometimes they are running to get there on time.
  5. mooSa

    mooSa Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    yes it would work if i didnt have so much nature, they have about 4 acres closed off. They started off laying inside the coop, but they like nature much better. I tried again keeping them trapped in the house for 3 days and there is no luck. I know they like to have a hidden nest, so thats why i came up with the box idea. But yea i think ill try it out and leave marked eggs.
  6. beefy

    beefy Flamingo Daddy-o

    Apr 21, 2007
    South Georgia
    mine lay all around the yard and i use the marking method too. they tend to like corners and under tables and places where they can see out good but be protected on one or two sides. they like ground nests but i have some laying in flowerpots and in chairs.
  7. 007Dawn

    007Dawn Out Of Coop

    Apr 29, 2009
    My great great uncle and aunt had free range eggs and now I understand the strange teeppee boxes they had all over the property! (I was only 8-9 years old at the time!)

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