7 week old chicks - when is it okay to let them in open fenced area

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by minichic, May 5, 2011.

  1. minichic

    minichic Chillin' With My Peeps

    223
    2
    101
    Dec 13, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    My chickies will be 7 weeks on Monday. Currently in a coop with an attached fully enclosed small run, which is inside a 12' x 40' fenced area (not fenced on top). My worry is having the little gals fly over the 4' fencing. They seem to have no trouble trying out their wings in the enclosed pen, so I am concerned about letting them range in the larger area. Should I wait until they are larger (and heavier) or will they learn to be content in their fenced area? I have 4 SLW and 3 BO's.
     
  2. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    You can clip their wings and they should be fine. [​IMG]
     
  3. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    I agree. At 7 weeks they may not be able to fly that high anyway. If you don't feel safe then keep them where you have them.
     
  4. minichic

    minichic Chillin' With My Peeps

    223
    2
    101
    Dec 13, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    1st time chicken momma, so I really have no idea how high or how far they could fly.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    6,030
    828
    336
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    If they really want to get on the other side of a fence they usually do [​IMG]

    If it's a privacy fencing they can't see other side of and top rail is pointy (stockade style I think) they wont try. My hens are full grown and heavy yet still can fly from mid step of deck to the deck railing. Yet oddly wont attempt to fly over a section of property border with 3 ft screen running length way as a fence. Go figure [​IMG]
     
  6. packmomma

    packmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    354
    0
    129
    Mar 10, 2009
    Argos, IN
    Mine can fly 6 feet so please clip their wings before you let them out. Mine are free ranging on certain days with my other ladies but they usually get a crop full of grass and go back to the pen and dust bath because the ladies wont let them in normally. lol. I had to clip my chicks wings when I found them flying around fence hopping. I guess you have to have fun somehow!
     
  7. lady feathers

    lady feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    99
    Nov 29, 2010
    If you don't want to clip wings... you can pick up birds netting from your local farm store (maybe even wal-mart) the thin black stuff you place over trees/gardens and zip tie it to the fencing. If you can't get a lage enough one, zip tie them together and place a few green fence stakes in the center to hold it up about 3-4 ft up. We do this for our meat birds to give them additional grazing space. They test out their wings but the netting is just enough to remind them there is a ceiling and adds protection from hawks etc.. who would get tangled up if they tried to snatch one of the chicks from the pen. Plus the stuff is extremely lightweight so I can basically walk under it without any problems to chek feeders/waterers (it just rides along your back). Oh and then if you have to run into the hous real quick you don't have to panic that they will take off on you for the few minutes you are gone. I will add it's not predator proof but for a treat of extra space during the day and cooped at night it works fine
     
  8. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I would be more concerned about hawks. I bought and raised 12 chicks last fall - 6 Polish and 6 EE's. Once I turned them out with the older chickens, they started disappearing one at a time every three or four days until they were nearly all gone. I could accurately guess which would be next because it was always the smallest one that would be gone. I didn't know what was getting them until one day this spring when I heard the birds squawking and saw a smallish hawk in the trees above the birds, jumping from limb to limb looking over all the birds and trying to find one that it could take. All of them were well over 2 pounds by then and it flew off with nothing! I have 23 10 week (and younger) birds now and will not let them free range without constant supervision until they are as big as they will get.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    456
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    As for your question about returning to the coop, 2 weeks should be more than enough time for them to have learned where home is, and return at dusk. Generally, people lock chickens in a new coop for a few days or a week at most to teach this.
     
  10. minichic

    minichic Chillin' With My Peeps

    223
    2
    101
    Dec 13, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Quote:I was thinking about the netting and I like the idea more and more! Thanks for the suggestion.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by