Where Do Free Range Chickens Lay Eggs?

Most people don’t like the idea of letting the chickens roam freely in the yard. It carries a lot of risks, especially predators that prey on them. By keeping them in cages, it will have a lot of risks removed. As for laying eggs, the hens will use the coop to do. However, if you’re one of the people that let the chickens roam freely, you will probably wonder where your chickens will lay eggs.

Where Do Free Range Chickens Lay Eggs?

When chickens are allowed to roam freely, they will tend to find a safe place to lay eggs.

If you have a yard with a lot of space, chickens will not lay in the coop, even if one is provided. By instinct, they will find someplace outdoors to lay their eggs.

The place of choice to lay eggs will be somewhere that’s quiet and well-hidden. This could be under a bush, plants, or overgrown. Anywhere that’s hard for predators to detect them will be the choice for them.

Of course, the actual location will vary from breed to breed. Some breeds are good at hiding their nest while others are not.

Why Chicken Don’t Make Nest In the Trees?

Chicken Eating Food

A lot of people assume that since chickens are birds, they will make their nest in the trees. Unfortunately, chickens are a bird that doesn’t do that.

Even though chickens will sleep high up in the tree, they will not make a nest there.

Unlike most other birds, chickens are heavy and not very nimble. This makes it difficult for them to balance their eggs and sit on them.

Therefore, they will find somewhere safe on the ground to make their nest so that they can lay eggs.

How Do Chickens Make Nests?

When it comes to nests, chickens don’t make a nest like other birds. With other birds, you may notice that their nest is circular and tightly woven. This is to prevent the nest from breaking apart from the wind and other elements.

As with chickens, they don’t really make a nest that is circular and perfectly uniform. Instead, their nest is loose with twigs, straws, and other debris that they can find.

Once they find a good place to lay their eggs, they will often dig out a round depression in the ground. Then they will start to lay twigs and other debris in the hole.

Will Free Range Chickens Go Back To The Coop To Lay Eggs?

In the wild, there’s no coop for them to lay eggs. Therefore, due to instinct, free-range chickens will rather lay eggs outdoors than in the coop.

If you have the yard secured, and it’s safe from all predators, it would be no problem for them to lay eggs where ever they want.

When you have predators around, it’s always a good idea to let free-range chickens lay eggs in the coop.

Having your chickens lay eggs outside the coop is bad for several reasons:

  • It will attract predators such as foxes, skunks, and badgers to your land.
  • Your hens will most likely go broody if you don’t see the eggs.
  • If you’re collecting eggs, you’ll miss out on a lot of them.

Therefore, you will want your free-range chickens to always lay eggs in the coop. It’s simple to get them to lay eggs. Each evening, round them up and place them into the coop. After a while, they’ll get used to it and will start to lay eggs there.

How Often Do Free Range Chickens Lay Eggs?

Free-range chickens will lay at the same time as those that are kept in the coop. How often they lay will depend on the amount of sunlight exposure they have. For normal egg-laying, they will require about 16 hours or more daylight each day.

During winter and colder months, when there is less daylight, the free-range chickens will lay fewer eggs or not even lay at all. They do this so that they can use the energy they have to keep themselves warm.

Also, nutrition plays an important role in how often they lay eggs. If there is not a lot of food to eat, they will lay less. Not only will they need the nutrition to produce the eggs, but also to keep themselves healthy. Therefore, when there is not enough food, they will lay less so that they can use the nutrition to support themselves.

Why Do Free Range Chickens Hide Eggs?

Free-range chickens will hide their eggs to prevent predators from stealing their eggs. Cage chickens will usually lay in the nesting box, which will be exposed.

For free-range chickens, it’s their instinct to hide the eggs to keep them safe.

When you let your chickens roam freely, it’s important to find out if your chickens are hiding their eggs or not. There are a couple of reasons why you want to know.

The first reason is their health. A chicken in good health will lay eggs when they reach the right age. If your hen isn’t laying eggs when they are supposed to, this means they are having health issues.

The second reason is to see if there are any predators around that are stealing their eggs. Hens will lay one egg a day and if they keep on missing each day, you will know there is a predator around.

Conclusion

If you allow your chickens to roam freely, they will make a nest somewhere that’s safe and quiet. The typical place will be under plants, in shrubs, and overgrown. If there is a dog house, a bale of hay, or even a flowerpot, they may use it to make a nest and lay their eggs. As long as the location is safe from predators, the chickens will use it to make a nest.