My chickens are going to be confined to the chicken run for awhile, which to free range chickens is like jail. Their run is huge but it is fenced. Every morning they greet me at the gate anxious to get out and forage for food. It is good for them, and the eggs they produce. It is also great on the pocketbook. Laying hens eat lots, and free food is always best.
Last week three of my hens decided to lay in the shed rather than the nest boxes in the coop. This week I can’t get more than three eggs out of ten active laying hens. I have looked all over and can’t find a clutch of eggs anywhere. I have checked in my yard, the sagebrush in the pasture, under the trailer and even some of the adjoining pasture. I should have more eggs than I know what to do with instead I barely have enough to get by.
In fall laying hens will slow down, but that usually doesn’t happen for me well in to October. Some of my breeds lay almost all year round. Hens will stop laying when they molt, but there is no sign of that either. I can come to no other conclusion than they are laying somewhere out there on the range. Now I will have to confine them back to their run for a week to remind them eggs go in the nest boxes in the coop. Wish me luck!