If I let them out of coop will they come back to lay eggs in boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by momofchicks, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. momofchicks

    momofchicks Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    Okay, my chickens have been in there house and coop their whole lives. I let them out for 1 hour or so a day, sometimes in a movable tractor and sometimes free. My question is, if I just let them out like for several hours without me, will they come back to their house to lay and will they come back at night. Right now, with the time change I can let them out around 5pm and I can go eat dinner and they will put themselves to bed in their house, but if I let them out all day, will they still come home?
    Thank you.

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    So far mine free-range all day and the hens walk back to the coop to lay in the nest boxes. If I had a sudden drop in production I'd go looking for outside nests, but so far the girls have been good.
  3. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    I let them out for a couple hours after most eggs are laid. But they come back to lay if they didn't before I free ranged.

    That's how it's worked for me so far.
  4. schmije

    schmije Songster

    Aug 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    Ours free range for several hours a day - usually from about noon till dark. Most of them lay before we let them out, but there's usually 1 or 2 eggs laid in the afternoon. They go back to the coop on their own to eat, drink or lay an egg. We've had a few instances where one of them started a nest outside the coop, but once we found it and removed the eggs, they went back to the coop. They always go back in at night on their own. We don't supervise our girls while they're out, but we have two labs who chase off any critters that don't belong in our yard.

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