Hi! New member with questions

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FowlWeatherFriend, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. FowlWeatherFriend

    FowlWeatherFriend In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2009
    Grant's Lick, KY
    I have a few questions. We are working on plans for our new chicken coop and have a few questions.

    1.) We are planning to build a stationary coop with a run, but would like our chickens to be able to free-range a bit too. My sister-in-law had a brief chicken experience a few years ago and let her chickens free-range. They laid eggs everywhere outside. Do chickens only lay their eggs in the morning or at anytime during the day? If we kept them in the coop/run until afternoon and then let them out, would this solve the problem with eggs being laid outside the nest?

    2.) I recently read that it might be a good idea to close up the nest boxes during the day so the chickens don't get broody or don't pick at the eggs. Is this a good idea? If they did just lay eggs in the morning, I can see that this is possible, but not if they lay at different times. Does anyone have a suggestion about this?

    3.) If you let the chickens free-range and leave a ramp out for them to return to the coop on their own to nap or whatever, doesn't that leave the coop open for critters to get inside the coop? We making plans to build this coop pretty predator-proof as we live in the woods, but it seems that having a ramp out all day just defeats the purpose of having a predator-proof coop.

    Thanks for any comments/suggestions. We are trying to learn all we can before we build this coop.

  2. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I've found that if you keep the birds in the coop and enclosed run for a month or so, they get used to laying their eggs in the nests. And after the first two weeks you could let them free range once you feel the egglaying is complete. Once they have gotten used to laying in the nests my girls always go back to the nest even if they are in the pasture.

    Hens lay eggs usually from dawn until about 2PM. Although occasionally I get an egg a bit later.

    You have to leave the ramp down so they can get back in to nest and also if their food and water is in the coop. I don't leave my chickens free ranging unless we are home to supervise. And our dog let us know if there is anything funny going on like rodents or such. I don't even think about opening them to the pasture if the hawks are nesting in the nearby tree, usually in early spring. If you free range you have to accept the risk of losing birds occasionally, depending on your location and density / type of predators.
  3. gpamela3499

    gpamela3499 Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    Near San Fran Ca
    from California
  4. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    [​IMG] from TN

  5. mwdh1

    mwdh1 Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
  6. [​IMG] from Missouri [​IMG]
  7. chickenfanatic

    chickenfanatic Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    deming new mexico
    welcome from N.M. [​IMG]

  8. BFeathered

    BFeathered Songster

    Aug 29, 2008
    North Texas
    [​IMG] from TX! Briteday's good advice should be a start on your questions, that's how I do it too. Except my dogs would just as soon "play" with the chickens and eat their food.. so no free ranging when my dogs are out. I'd just as soon "supervise" the free ranging loosely, just cuz chickens are fun to watch! Good luck and have fun.
  9. n-da-woods

    n-da-woods Songster

    Jan 18, 2009
    North Carolina
    Hello and [​IMG] from NC

  10. countrygirlatheart

    countrygirlatheart Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Huffman Texas
    [​IMG] From Huffman, Texas [​IMG]

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