Question about free range chickens...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arkansasfarmer, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. arkansasfarmer

    arkansasfarmer New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2008
    Austin,AR
    Ok,
    I have had my chickens for 8 days now and the black sex linked hens, that lay year round,except for when molting. they have been in the coop and little area attached to the coop, my question is if I let them out, will they go back to the coop at night and to lay, or should I wait to let them out until they start laying again?

    thanks
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Do you think they haven't started laying for you because they are still settling into their new home?
    I would keep them in the coop for at least another week and until some of the hens have started laying in the nest boxes before turning them out.
    My chickens free-range all day long. So far the hens have been great about coming back to the coop to lay their eggs. Lately the whole flock has taken to walking back up to the coop with them and waiting outside while the hens are inside laying. It's a hoot - the area around my coop looks like a maternity waiting room.
    They were locked in their coop and the hens were laying there for two weeks before I turned them out.
     
  3. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    With my girls i started letting them out about an our before sundown and then increasing the time .....I had no problem getting them back into the coop...usually...naturally....they will want to roost...and where else would be a better roost than their own roost...so they should go back in no problem ...leave their food and water in the run/coop and the doors open and they'll keep going back in. and out.....if they dont you'll have to watch where they roost to catch them or catch them yourself....and then the next couple days when you feed them theyre favorite treat in the run call"here chick chick" or whatever you want and the next time you let them free run they'll come running when they here you calling...hopefully...that works for me....Good luck...hope I helped ya...
     
  4. crzychickenlady

    crzychickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2007
    I started mine off in the coop for about 2 weeks, then I opened it up to the run for another 2 weeks before letting them out to range. They were 4 months old when I put them out in the coop to begin with.

    This process seemed to work, they would always go back in at dusk to roost and lay their eggs. I have never had to catch or chase them in at night, not even once.
     

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