Will my free range chickens lay in the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chick chat, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. chick chat

    chick chat New Egg

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    I have 5 chickens ranging in age from 1 year to 3 months. I just got two one year old chickens and the rest are at point of laying or just coming up to it. When I got the two one year olds the lady said they were still laying but had slowed down for the winter. I have had them for just over a week and I have not seen any eggs [​IMG] All the chickens roost together at night and I have laying boxes for them but they free range all day. I'm worried that they are laying there eggs outside. Is there anyway to encourage them to lay inside? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    First of all chickens that are 1 year old can be 12 months up to 23 months, so remember that most chickens will have their 1st molt at about 18 months which lasts 1-3 months and they will not lay eggs. Secondly, moving to a new home can cause them not to lay for a few days or weeks. Thirdly, when you have new chickens who are laying, it is good to confine them to the coop for a good 7-10 days until they learn where to lay their eggs in the new place. They do slow down laying in winter due to the decreased hours of daylight. Some people will put a light on a timer for a couple of extra hours of light in early morning to give them 12 hours a day. Mine tend to lay fairly well in winter with that. Good luck.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    New chickens should likely be confined to their coop for the first week. This settles them into their new surroundings. I'd not allow free ranging until after 2 pm until the everyone seems to have adopted the nests you made for them. Until they adopt them, they're likely to lay just about anywhere.
     
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine were confined to the coop and run for the first several months. The forage most days, but return to the nests to lay.

    Chris
     

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