Good Morning, Chicken Enthusiasts!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Cuddles11, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Cuddles11

    Cuddles11 Just Hatched

    Jan 16, 2014
    Hi! My name is Cathy. I have lived in Arkansas for almost six months with my husband, Brian, and our three children, Ross, Chase, and Catie. We have a 40 acre farm (quite the difference from our 1/2 acre plot of land in Florida!) and started raising chickens three months ago. Currently we have four phoenix hens and a rooster, and a mottled houdan. They are all exceptionally friendly birds with more personality than poundage. [​IMG] The chickens are almost a year old and are currently not laying, although they averaged 3.5 eggs a day in the fall. I am looking forward to having an abundant supply of eggs soon! We free range our chickens, and they adore foraging. When I call them, they run as fast as their little legs can carry them to see what wonders I may be giving them to eat.

    Question: can foraging chickens be taught to lay in their coop? I am still unsure if my hens are laying and I cannot locate the eggs, or if they have stopped. When it is below 10° during the day, I keep them cooped and usually come away with an egg a day. They generally hang out in a small wooded area when foraging, and I have searched every available nook and cranny looking for eggs, to no avail. When I first let them forage, they were great about returning to the coop to lay, but not so much now.

    By the way, I love the sounds all my chickens make, but my houdan wins for sweetest voice. We named her Bob Marley because of her remarkable head feathers, but she has been acting like such the prissy little thing we may change her name to Lady Gaga. The other chickens are Fawkes (obviously) for the rooster, the two gold phoenixes are Hermione and Ginny, and the two silvers are Pigwidgeon and Hedwig.
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! I like your chickens' names. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! With the shorter days and yours being more ornamental breeds, they have probably stopped laying for the winter. They should hopefully start up again in the spring. Free ranging birds can be taught to lay in the coop, though it can be a challenge. You may have to lock them in for a week or so periodically to remind them where they should lay. Make sure the nest boxes are really appealing to chickens, easy to get too, dark, multiple ones, fake eggs etc. One thing I have done is put "hidden" nests outside in places where they like to lay or where they would hide nests, it keeps the sneaky hens happy since they think they are hiding nests, but I know where they are and just collect eggs from those nests as usual.
    1 person likes this.
  4. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! Kelsie gave you some good advice, good luck to you.
    1 person likes this.
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hi there, [​IMG] and welcome to BYC!

    Kelsie has you on the right track! You will need to train them to use the coop for laying. Be persistent, even if you have to not allow them to free range for some time.

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy BYC!
    1 person likes this.
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hi, Cathy, welcome to BYC.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    glad you joined our flock [​IMG]
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed


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