Free range experiment

My hens had to be locked up in June due to the local raccoons deciding my area was their personal all-they-could-eat buffet.  Egg production dropped significantly.  I was barely getting an egg every third day from 20 hens.

I hate having them locked up. They hate it, too, and they pace the run like prisoners hoping for a jail break.  I recently started letting my girls out again each afternoon from 3pm until they go back into the coop themselves at dusk to see how it would affect egg production.

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It’s working! They laid a dozen eggs in ONE DAY! Sixteen eggs were in the nest boxes over the next three days.  I can’t pinpoint what it is that makes them lay more eggs just because they’re getting out of the run (they have a very large run that’s about 70′ long). All I know is that letting them free range, even just a few hours daily, ups egg production!   

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Free ranging seems to affect egg size, too!

I’m happy, and the girls are definitely happy!

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