Free ranging - still laying eggs in the coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kirachick, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. kirachick

    kirachick In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2014
    Marton, New Zealand
    Hello everyone!

    A friend of mine has 4 chickens and he is keeping them in a shed with a run and he was wanting to let them free range in the paddock.
    He was wondering if they will return to the shed to lay their eggs or if not how to get them to lay them in the shed.
    They have been there for about 2 months now.

    Has anyone got experiance with free ranging?

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If they've been in the shed for 2 months, are already laying there and it's nice place for them to be, they should come back to the shed to lay and roost at night.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 - they are creatures of habit, so having already built the habit you desire is going to work in your/your friend's favor. Are the birds currently laying or have they not yet started?
  4. Housemom408

    Housemom408 In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2014
    I have the same type of set up and mine all comeback with no problem. They had free range well before they started laying. All my eggs have been in the coop and in the nesting box right where they belong.
  5. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    I had the same worry. I have been free-ranging all my chickens since long before they were old enough to lay. Only one of them has started laying and she regularly comes back from wherever into the coop and lays in the nest boxes I provided. I was amazed. I did put fake eggs in there and that may have helped. Then again, for all I know my other gals are laying eggs out in the bushes somewhere.
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    If hens are already laying in the shed, then they are comfortable laying there. So, theoretically, if they are free-ranged they should return to the same spot.
  7. StruckBy

    StruckBy Songster

    Apr 2, 2012
    Marcola, OR
    What everyone else said. I do find mine periodically like to pick a new nest but it's usually very easy to find & convenient. Keeping fake eggs in the nest boxes helps...just be careful if you have a breed that is known for going broody! My cochins have tried to hatch fake eggs several times, to the point where I've given up using them unless I *want* them to go broody. My birds don't even get locked in even at night unless there is some reason I don't want them roaming (like the other day when I was spraying hornet nests & didn't want them trying to eat the dying insects before I could clean them up).

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: