My DH decided that instead of a separate coop our chickens would be permanently housed in the 60% of our barn that we are not using. So, Last Weekend he gets up at dawn and creates our coop w/nesting boxes, roosts etc. We just needed to get pine pellets for the floor....they rock! He cut a hole in the side of the barn about 2.5 ft high and put a ramp up from the inside, but not the outside. Well, today I take a friend to show off my husbands' hard work and voila! Eggs! The thing is the chicken have never been put in there! They have 5 acres to roam and apparently the "roamed" into the little opening in the barn and decided, "Oh, this looks like a great place to lay my eggs!" Huh? Wha? How did they know? Only 2 eggs were found in the trailer where they had been housed at night. Apparently, the chicks born May 18th are laying. So, soon the others should begin, too! So, tonight at 9 pm all 6 of us went out in the rain and gathered up our 45 chickens and 3 roos and put them in the barn. There is fencing that blocks off the back 20% and the frong 20% has a fence w/a gate. We still have to put up tarps to keep the daughts out and lay down pine pellets. Oh, and DH had to put on the official door. Right now, a 5 galllon bucket is stuck in the hole. How long should I keep them in their new quarters before letting them out? How much extra feed should I give them since they're not able to free range? I took pics. Maybe I'll get to post them, tomorrow!