Where do free range chcikens lay eggs??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Toi-toi, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Toi-toi

    Toi-toi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2010
    Central MA
    I got almost 21weeks old SS and they are not laying eggs yet.
    They are free range (like 7am - 7pm) but their coop is always open for food and water and has nesting box.
    Their faces are pretty red so I thought they are laying eggs soon.
    But looks like they've never been in the nesting box.

    I check everyday under the tree and bushes where they spend most of the day. But no eggs.

    Are they just still kinda young to lay eggs or they are laying somewhere in the yard I don't know??
  2. blaundee

    blaundee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2009
    Have you heard any cackle like they've laid an egg? If you hear that, run out and watch them for a while- many times they will cackle BEFORE and AFTER they lay, so if you watch, you can narrow down your search area. [​IMG]

    I never expect any of mine to lay before 6 months. My California White, Christine, laid an egg EXACTLY 6 months to the day I got her as a baby chick!!! LOL
  3. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    if they are free ranging the eggs can be anywhere, they will probably pick a dark hidden place, 1 of my girls hid her eggs under the ramp to the shed, it was only 3-4 inches high but she's a bandy, what I did is made a nest outside took a plastic work bin with a low front and turned it upside down, now I got a broody trying to hatch a golfball, same bird that hid her eggs.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Got any potted plants? Planters? Look in them, behind them. Any leafy plants? Look under and around those. Fireplace or exterior water heater building? Look in those corners against the house.


    The spot mine found was used by two different pullets.

    Any benches or chairs in the yard? Look under them. Look anywhere along fence lines, in tufts of grass or plantings.

    There are still a little young.

    Put golf balls in the nesting boxes.

    I also put a covered kitty litter box with pine shavings in it on my back porch where they like to congregate. Several of my "gonna lay soons" have checked it out with great interest. In the past, a couple of my layers did use it when they were looking for nifty places to lay after I gathered the eggs they'd laid by the water heater house.
  5. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've got a 14 6 month olds, and they free range, and i've gotten 2 pullet eggs in the nestbox, and that leaves 12 that are likely laying somewhere else. Eventually my dog will find them [​IMG] [​IMG] and will eat them and then spend a day or two throwing up... I have a piece of wooden fence that we have to decide whether or not to re-use or get rid of, and my ducks at least, like to lay under that... pretty much, if you've got a plain, flat mowed lawn, they'll lay eggs in the box. if you have ANYTHING else, anything growing, or any edges, or overhangs, or plants, or vehicles, it's all practice for Easter.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My free range hens lay their eggs in the nestboxes, where they should. Always have. I think it helped that they were on lockdown in the coop during the period of time that most of them started laying. They got used to laying their eggs in the nestboxes then and haven't strayed from that.
  7. Toi-toi

    Toi-toi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2010
    Central MA
    So could be any place....
    Under the tree and bush where they hang out won't be good nesting spots??
    I guess I have to look around more...
    I checked kid's play house and play gym, under the pool deck where the big toys are... No eggs!
    I hope that they are still young to lay, not I can't find eggs and wasting!!
  8. Warthog

    Warthog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2009
    Mine lay in the sheep pen, never in the nest boxes.
  9. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    My hens are free rangers and after reading a post about using golf balls in the nest box I took a couple of store bought eggs that I already had and poked a hole in each end, blew out the egg, rinsed the inside of egg real good then refilled with sand taped up the hole put back in the nest box and this is the nest that the girls lay in. I haven't experienced any of the hens laying any where else but in the nest box. You might give this a try;). Good luck
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Lock them up, any time I get an unexplained drop in egg production, it usually means that they have picked a new nest. The above post is right, and I have done that, is spend the morning outside, and listen, and you can usually find it that way. But if they are, locking them up for a few days, will get them to lay in the nest box, and they will come back into the coop even if free ranging, to lay their eggs. mk

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