If I free range my chickens will they still lay eggs in the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sunleacreations, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. sunleacreations

    sunleacreations Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    I have been letting my chickens free range because they stopped laying (well maybe) they stay in for a day or 2 when i get a new hen and i have yet to get an egg. well i just got 4 geese and so everyone has been in the last 4 days. About an hour after the Geese arrives i got an egg, then the next day another and today i got 2 (out of 14 hens!) Do you think they are laying out in the field? I want to let them out during the day but we have 10 acres and i don't want to have to search for eggs everyday. The eggs that where recently laid where in the nest boxes, i have 4 boxes and plan on putting more in. I just want some feedback on if they will lay in the boxes if free ranging or what i can do to make them more interesting. Thanks!!
  2. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have 17 or so layers, they have slowed down for the winter...they free range all day, I have over 300+ acres, they never wander very far...they go back in to lay eggs. The only time I have found them outside, in the haystack, was when a couple girls could not get back in to lay them. If you are wondering if they are laying at all, leave them locked up, till around noon or so, THEN let them out...if they are laying, you will find them in the boxes.
    I don't know how many girls you have, but I have 5 boxes, they only use 2 of them...that isn't the issue.

    I was getting a dozen eggs a day, now I am down to 3....I saw nobody had answered you, and after re-reading your post, I see they are left inside for a while.
    I doubt they are laying outside, since they are used to laying inside...I would call it even, with time of year!
  3. morgakl2

    morgakl2 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2011
    My free range hen layed her eggs in the dog's house instead of the coop. But she was a silkie, and apparently they like being on the ground. Did you try putting a golf ball in the nesting box to remind them what it's there for?
  4. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Mine all go back to the coop to lay. I had one check around the yard for a place when she was getting ready to lay her first egg but I saw her looking and called the group back to the run. So far, no hidden nests. I saw the cockerel try to convince them an overturned trash can was a great place but they all ignored him.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  5. sunleacreations

    sunleacreations Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Thank! I was thinking of putting some "fake" eggs in. I think they may have just started laying again (or they're afraid of being replaced by the geese. lol) I am new to chicken. I have a decent size coop (about 6x3?(maybe a tad bigger and about 8' tall and i have 20 chickens right now (3 of which are bantys) is that big enough, someone said they maye be over crowded thats why they aren't laying, i like to let them out during the day, they have a run but i normally just leave the gate open and they go in and out as they please. We do have horses so we have hay in the one barn that they may lay in but they always come in in at night. They seem to like the goose house since the geese don't use it. lol I just want them to be happy, happy chicken=eggs and i really want to get some so i can start incubating. Oh can anyone recommend a good incubator i have a crappy syrofoam, i want something that can do chicken and geese, i was looking at RCOM and King Suro but would really like to find one that is a little more budget friendly
  6. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    [​IMG] and welcome to keeping chickens as well!
    We free range our chooks, and it's pretty normal to get eggs all over the place. Usually we have to get up early and watch them to see where they go off to lay, otherwise we'll never be able to find the eggs. Too much overgrown vegetation! [​IMG]
    Luckily at the moment, they've taken a shine to the coop, so no collecting adventures for us right now. Fake eggs or just a lock in the coop during laying time will get them in there. Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My chickens range freely and the grown up gals lay their eggs in the coop's nest boxes just fine. The newly laying pullets follow suit for the most part, but a couple of them made nests in two different places. I fixed the hole in the fence where they were going out of the yard to lay their eggs inside a rosemary bush... now they've decided BEHIND the garbage can where I have stacked up broken-down boxes is a super nifty place to lay their eggs. Just a couple of 'em. I blame that on the dominant rooster, because he called them there to show them how nice and secluded a place it was for laying eggs.
  8. RattlesnakeRidgeWV

    RattlesnakeRidgeWV Songster

    May 27, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    Mine stay in the coop and runs until about 2 in the afternoon. I let them free-range till they put themselves to bed just before dark and then I lockup the coop and pens. I never have to search for eggs because some lay in the AM and early afternoon in their nest boxes.
  9. Pepurr

    Pepurr In the Brooder

    Dec 19, 2011
    Bernalillo, NM
    My 7 chickens free range all day. They always go back into the chicken house to lay eggs. One of them stopped laying for a week after the temp got down to 11 degrees for a few days. The day time temp has been going to around 40 for the past week, so it started laying again. None of the other hens stopped laying.
  10. LoreenH

    LoreenH Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    My 6 girls free range our backyard but always go back to the coop to lay in the nest box (they have two, but only lay in one). I briefly had one of the Sussex lay in a mound of clematis; after I fenced it off she went back to the nest box. I have taken the fencing down and she still is laying in the coop [​IMG]

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