Anyone have SLWs that do well free ranging?


11 Years
Sep 16, 2008
Bloomington, IN
I added a 5th coop and new breed last winter, and now have a nice group of SLWs going. These are my first SLWs, and my group of 10 ranges in ages from 6 mos-9 mos. I hatched eggs from 3 different BYC members, and also ordered some from Sandhill. I live on 40 acres, and I let all the coops out to free range several times a week. I just love the SLW, they are beautiful birds and are giving me HUGE eggs, but they are horrible about being let out! They simply will not return to the coop at night, nor do they even roost all together. I have to spend 30 minutes walking around with a ladder collecting them out of trees, and out of the barn, and off fences at night. I tried mixing them in with the flocks of barred rocks and leghorns that do come in every night- no luck. they really bonded with those flocks, and shared food and dust baths with them during the day, but still roosted in groups of one and two all over the place at night!

I love them and am keeping them, although they are going to have to have their freedom somehwat curtailed. I'm really curious to know though, has anyone else experienced this, or do you have SLWs that free range and come home to roost?
ours rotate on the pasture and always go to their house at night......sometimes we let out 2 grow-out pens at one time and everyone finds their way home. Maybe you need to leave them in the chickenyard for a week so they know where to sleep....some ofo ur chickens don't like to call it a night until almost dark.
My SLWs free range as well, no problem. They roost in the coop.
I have both adults and 4 month olds, so I suppose the youngsters imitate the older here...
Hmmm...I wonder why mine are so weird. They've been in that coop since they were fully feathered, and I kept the oldest locked in there for a month before I started letting them out- just like I did with my other breeds. Whenever I add new, younger birds- I keep everyone locked up for 3 days before I let them out- just to give them time to identify 'home'.

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