Need help with my Free Range Chickens- Where are my Eggs?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickmama320, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. chickmama320

    chickmama320 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Back Swamp NC
    I have 3 chickens- 2 hens and a Rooster. They are about 7 months old and I haven't seen any eggs. They are free ranged in my approx 1/2 back yard. I'll be honest, I don't have a nesting box. Hubs was supposed to build me a coop but that never happened due to time and finances. There are a few trees in one area of my yard that they like to hang out under- no eggs. Most nights I go to bed and they are sleeping either on the railing of my deck or on the deck its self. They are generally still there in the morning when I go to let the dogs out. I'm worried that since they don't have a coop that's why I'm not getting any eggs. I search and search the yard but can't find them any where. Also, about a week ago I noticed the rooster trying to mate with them so I know that they are at an age where they should be producing at this time. Please help. Also, what do I need to be doing for the guys as far as not having a coop for them?
     
  2. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    You need to keep them someplace safe at night. If you can't build a coop, maybe a large dog cage with some hay on the floor? It's not great but better than nothing. Otherwise, you will be in for some heartache one morning when you find them missing or worse.

    Good luck finding the eggs. One of my hens started laying under a piece of plywood my hubby had up against the garage. Another one took over a flower pot on the porch. Mostly they use their boxes, though.
     
  3. chickmama320

    chickmama320 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly I thought the kids where fine. I have 6 foot privacy fence on 3 sides (one is including my house of course) and the fourth side is chain link, but it has heavy brush on the other side of it so I really can't see anything getting into the yard. I have a dog crate that I had used for their brooder box, but I just feel like its too small for all 3 of them and I don't really have anything for them to roost on. I made them a small roost when they were babies, but I don't think it would do them much good now.
     
  4. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    Just about anything can climb the fence and get to them. You really need to put them someplace at night. Maybe a shed or something. As for the eggs, they can be anywhere or maybe they haven't started laying yet. Some lay sooner than others. What breed are they? Maybe we can give you some idea as to when to start looking.

    With mine, I noticed that after they molted they laid soon after. I just had one finish a molt 2 weeks ago and she laid her first egg yesterday. I have 4 more that are molting now.
     
  5. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Maybe if you put that dog crate back out for them they might start laying in it. I had one pullet last year that liked to lay her egg in the dog house if she was free-ranging when "that time of day" came along. I agree with those who suggest a safer place for them to go is important. What breeds are they?
     
  6. chickmama320

    chickmama320 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A Barred Rock and a RIR. The rooster is a BR as well. (Although I don't know if anyone is full what they are supposed to be.... the rooster has some green tipped feathers).
     
  7. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    They do have some green in the tail feathers. You may have a few more months to worry about eggs. Have they molted yet?
     
  8. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Start looking under/in anything they could possibly see as nest worthy.[​IMG]
    I also agree with some of the above posters - a raccoon, oppossum, hawk - many things can get in/climb over your fence and kill them. And once it's known that they are there, whatever found them will keep coming back till they're all gone. Our neighbor had a raccoon get into their run and pull a chicken right out of the coop with out ever actually getting into the coop. Crafty evil critters they are.
    Plus, I'm sure they'd appreciate a place to take shelter in the heat/cold/rain ...
    Just my thoughts ...
     
  9. Big C

    Big C J & C Farms

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    Vernon Texas
    They should have a place they can go for safety and for laying. Both are inclusive to normal flock behavior.
    Generally you should find your eggs in the same "protected" place.
    If they do not have a set laying/roost area then you will likely be subject to predation and lose of your flock, as well as searching for the place they feel most comfortable laying.
     
  10. GaNewChick

    GaNewChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    McDonough, Ga.
    I have 5 that have free ranged for over a year, and roost in the trees at night. (They are not tame) They lay their eggs everywhere.

    I have one that is currently laying in the back of a pickup truck that sits in the driveway that seldom gets cranked.

    One laying in the garage ~ she lays between a piece of plywood and the wall, and also behind a bag of sand ~ all on the concrete.

    I've had them lay underneath an old lawnmower on the backside of the property.

    By my neighbor's front porch.

    Around the base of trees in the wood line where there is tall grass and weeds.

    Under my pompous grass.

    If they start laying in one place, and a possum or coon finds them ~ she'll just move to another place, and another, and another. You may have to sit outside several times one day and watch her to see where she goes. Mine starts fussing, and we just follow her.

    She could be going over the fence to lay and then coming back into the yard.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009

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