14 week olds to early to free range?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jaimepowell, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. jaimepowell

    jaimepowell In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2011
    How old does everyone suggest for chickens to be before they are allowed to free range and will head back to their coop for the night? I have 14 week olds now in a pen and coop and my ultimate goal is to allow them to free range during the day. And advice would be appreciated! Thanks!!!

  2. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

    Jun 3, 2011
    Em's Dungeon
    at 14 weeks your girls are definitely old enough to be free ranging. [​IMG]
  3. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chirping

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    They are old enough, and the first few times out, they probably won't go very far. But make sure the first few times you are prepared to stay up until after dark!

    Young ones seem to like to push it to the limit when it comes time to go in.

    I can almost tell you the ages of my chickens just by the time they go into the coop. The older they are, the sooner they go in. My 4 year olds go in about 2 hours before dusk, the 6 month olds don't go in until it's almost time to bring out the flashlight to make sure they all go in.

    When I start letting new young ones go out, I wait to feed them until very late afternoon, or early evening.
  4. AUChick9202

    AUChick9202 Chirping

    Apr 9, 2011
    Mine have been free-ranging since they were about 9 weeks. We started them out in the coop with an attached dog pen when they were 7 weeks, but then just put the coop in the yard and let them go at 9 weeks. We had to help "show" them how to coop themselves the first night b/c when we put the coop in the yard we elevated it. They were not used to walking up the plank. After that first night, they have cooped themselves up no problem.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Mine do free range but they are in a fenced in yard. I have an electric fence around the yard to keep predators out. They go into their coops at night, no problem. I don't shut the pop doors so they can go out on their own in the mornings.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by