No More Free Range til I get Some Eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wbruder17, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    When ii went out of town, my chicken sitter, who does not let them free range, was getting 9, 10 and 11 eggs a day. I get back and let them free range and I've gotten 4 and 5 a day. Either they are hiding them or they are not laying because free ranging is more fun.

    Either way, I'm not letting these girlies out anymore til I start getting some dern eggs.[​IMG]
     
  2. MomKat

    MomKat Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2011
    Mobile, AL
    I have wondered about this myself. My 5 RIRs (used to be six, but something got one!) started laying three weeks ago. I got two eggs a day for the first three days, and I've been getting three a day every day since then. I can't decide if the other two aren't laying, or are laying outside the nest boxes. I would keep them in for a day or two, but when I do that they kick up such a ruckus that I'm afraid they'll disturb the neighbors. I live in the middle of town, and my chooks are legal, but I don't want to start anything. Some of my neighbors would definitely have something to say! [​IMG]
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    If you free range, this will always be a hazzard. Just look for the nests and decide if they are safe or not. If your dogs cannot steal your eggs, then just collect them daily from the outside nests as well as the inside. When I find an outside nest that I can reach easily and the dog cannot, I let them have it and lay in it. It satisfies their instinct and I still get the eggs. Sometimes I will leave an egg in the nest to encourage them to keep laying there instead of another, more hidden, location.
     
  4. farmdude

    farmdude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2009
    NE Wisconsin
    I'm sure they are hiding them. Mine did that all the time. They are good at it too. In 2006 I had 2 dozen chickens. Within a few few years I had close to 100 due to them hiding their nests and hatching out large clutches. i had a severe predator problem after my dog died last winter. Got down to 20 birds. They are now in a fortress and i gather eggs daily and don't have to hunt. I miss seeing them around the yard, but is it for their safety.
    Quote:
     
  5. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Our yard has plenty of places for them to hide the eggs, but I haven't discovered them yet. I have 6 older hens and about 15 young ones, so there's a chance they are being very ireegular, however, I want the eggs, so I will be bringing their. Treats to them and no more free range. Poor birds, who actually have a run that's about the square footage of my house.

    But they are spoiled and will undoubtedly be unhappy about being on house arrest.
     
  6. adele

    adele Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2010
    yes I am thinking of doing the same thing. I have one RIR that is laying in the nest box, but only because I found her nest in the hedge and intercepted her on her way to it one day and locked her in the coop till she had figured out where she is meant to lay. She has it sussed now, but I don't know about the rest of the hens. three of the others are squatting and have been for a couple of weeks. I have been out egg hunting every day around the property but can't find any nests so I think I may have to keep them all in until I figure out who is doing what and where!
     
  7. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    Yes, my chickens are just starting up with some laying/some not. They have been free ranging and I have quite a few who return to the coop to lay. However, I have heard the egg song being sung several times from a row of trees/bushes out in front of my house. I found one nest yesterday and am sure there are more. Today, my chickens are in lock down until 2 pm. They will have access to their run, but not to the yard. As stated, they will be unhappy, but I want eggs. I also enjoy watching them in the yard, so I will let them out later. I am hoping that once they get used to laying in the boxes they will always lay there, but I think I am being naive. [​IMG]
     
  8. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    E.Texas
    I'm having the same issue! I've found 5 eggs in boxes, (total in one day) but hear that egg song from beyond the fence row in the woods and can't find a nest anywhere, and I'm sick of climbing around looking through the brush. Besides that, I'm not even sure they are really singing an egg song, or just making noise. [​IMG] Going to leave them in the run till later in the day. I hate to do it since it's so hot, and the mornings are the nicest time to wonder around, but...sigh...oh well. They're gonna have to suck it up, and lay in the boxes. Besides, with them going into the woods, it's only a matter of time till someone becomes a meal.
     
  9. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    Quote:Exactly!
     
  10. OKGlocker

    OKGlocker Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2011
    NE Oklahoma
    N&MSchroeder :

    Yes, my chickens are just starting up with some laying/some not. They have been free ranging and I have quite a few who return to the coop to lay. However, I have heard the egg song being sung several times from a row of trees/bushes out in front of my house. I found one nest yesterday and am sure there are more. Today, my chickens are in lock down until 2 pm. They will have access to their run, but not to the yard. As stated, they will be unhappy, but I want eggs. I also enjoy watching them in the yard, so I will let them out later. I am hoping that once they get used to laying in the boxes they will always lay there, but I think I am being naive. [​IMG]

    Yes, my chickens have access to the coop and run until around 1:00 or 2:00 pm... then they get to go out in the yard...
    Most of the chickens and guineas will have laid by then... Works for me! [​IMG]

    Karl​
     

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