Free ranging and new layers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by saraem, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. saraem

    saraem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2016
    We have 3 hens who are now 20 weeks old. The combs and wattles are nice and red and all have been doing the "submissive squat" for about a week to a week and a half. So of course we are getting excited about our first eggs!

    We normally let them out of the coop/run after they've eaten in the morning to wander our yard all day (coop door is open so they can access the nesting boxes if they want). Our yard isn't huge and I've been checking all their normal hang out spots, but I'm nervous they'll lay an egg/eggs somewhere in a bush and I'll miss it.

    If you free range, did you confine your chickens to the coop for a time until they got the hang of laying in the nesting box? (Our coop has a nice run, but I'm sure they'd rather be free to run around).
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It's impossible for me to confine my large breed flock of chickens. I have never had any lay out in the grass. They have tried the hay mangers, and in the bantam coop, but most return to the shed to lay. Yours will, especially if they consider it safe. Keep fake eggs in your nestboxes, which should also be a bit darkened and you shouldn't have a problem.
     
  3. saraem

    saraem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Ceramic eggs are in place!

    How dark should they be? The roof of the coop is white SunTuf which lets through a lot of light, but the nesting boxes themselves have a plywood roof so they're the darkest spot inside the coop. My chickens do go under my shed sometimes with my dog (we've been checking there and haven't found anything yet) and that is definitely significantly darker than any part of the coop...
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Hopefully they find the boxes more appealing than under the shed. You might need to block it off temporarily if they start laying under there. Sounds like your boxes are ready. Hopefully soon you will get your first eggs.
     

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