Addicted to free range!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mclanea, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're having a somewhat comical thing with our little flock of 3 RIR hens. They've been in their coop/run exclusively since about 8 weeks old, they are 16 weeks now, but I've started letting them out in our backyard for an hour or so of free range time each day.

    There's really no problem to it. I just crack up because any time I go anywhere near the coop they all line up for me to open up the door and let them out. And periodically throughout the day I hear them pecking on the door... "LET US OUT!" Unless I'm bringing them strawberries or watermelon... then they are cool with staying in there.

    Am I creating a monster here? Now that they've been free ranging a bit are they going to get ornery if I stop doing it?
     
  2. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are the same way. Dont worry, they wont get ornery, just will fuss when you dont let them out.
    I keep mine in every now & then for a couple of days. Sometimes for 2 weeks if are on vacation and someone else is taking care of them. They are happy to get out when we get back, but content when they have to stay in.
    Mine love watermelon rinds.
     
  3. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, thanks. That's helpful!

    Also, mine eat the red bits but won't touch the rinds. And they fight over the strawberry tops. They crack me up.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Weather they were out 1 hour or all day?? They will always want back out.....They love to be out to forage as that is a natural thing for chickens to do.....


    We are all mean in a chickens mind.....
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Very good advice.
     
  6. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    it will depend on the breed

    they will get used to being let out and will start to make noises after a while

    once you let them free range it's hard to go back

    my chickens are now free ranging all day.. but now i have to deal with the manure all over the place and dead garden plants.. etc..

    depending on what you gave them... chicken manure on concrete or pavers is a pain to remove
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  7. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had similar reactions from my birds in the last month as the garden got to the point that they could cause real damage to the harvest, and I wasn't able to fence it this year. They had just been getting yard time for about two or three weeks before they went back to lockdown. I'm giving them the last hour or two before dusk a couple times a week because they prefer to hit the field edge and the litter under the pine tree before they make it to the garden, and that's about the time it takes for them to remember the low hanging tomatoes are there.

    Like yours they gripe when I walked out with salsa remains and don't let them out. They quickly forget when there are pepper cores to fight over.

    Any animal I've ever raised has been that way. Hogs, dogs, horses. Once they taste freedom...it's all they want....
     
  8. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    i had chickens for about 5 months now.. they caused more problems to my backyard than my dog (who have been with us for 14+ years)

    we have golf size rocks covering the ground (a common way to prevent weeds in Arizona+ to save water on grass).. now i'm seeing these trends along the walls and concrete paths.etc..

    they took over my raised garden bed.. most of the plants died.. except for basil..
     
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  9. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all. Really helps to hear from folks on the same journey
     
  10. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of the funny things about this whole free ranging thing has been that they watch us in the house. If they see me move AT ALL in the house I hear the leader of the flock, Sour, start making noise... I think she's like, "Yo. We'd love this door opened up!"

    In related news, our pup is getting more and more relaxed around them.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ_u82RBtWo/
     

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