At what age do you let chicks free range?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenchick99, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. chickenchick99

    chickenchick99 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    I had six that I raised since they were a day old. They are approx 2 months old now. My older girls stay close to the barn and their pen. The babies wander all the way across our pasture, and over to the neighbour's house. The other day a hawk got one of them. Now I have them in a barn stall during the day, hoping that once they get a little bigger it will be safer?
    Also, does the rooster (normally) tend to just "guard" the older hens? My rooster was a rescue who was bullied by the lady's other roos and always by himself off in a corner of the pen. Perhaps this is why he wanders about and seems to have no regard for the hens? I have seen him be very mean to the young ones. We have a serious hawk and raven problem here. Maybe I need a new rooster?
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  2. I was wondering the same thing!
  3. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chirping

    Aug 31, 2014
    My birds have gotten out ever since they were two weeks old and they never wandered far, or at all when they were very young.

    Now they're five weeks old and free range perfectly. Hang around the coop in the tall grass and run into a protective thicket at any sign of danger. They even put themselves up at night.

    Not sure why you're having so much trouble.
  4. dldolan

    dldolan WineNChooks

    Aug 11, 2010
    Sonoma County, CA
    Usually I Iet the chicks out to free range when the mama decides the time is right--3 or 4 weeks with LF. BUT, I have always had a great Marans rooster, who is super protective (and always nice to the chicks) and I'd never lost a bird to a hawk. Now i have an adult bantam Cochin rooster and a 4-month old Marans roo coming up, and I've lost one chick to a hawk as the bantam roo is just too little to deter a hawk. Your rooster sounds very unsocialized and not acting appropriately. All my roosters over the years act about the same>>stand more or less in the center of where the hens are, watch the sky and surroundings, and dig for treats for the girls. Always patient with the chicks. I have a great shot of my first Splash Marans roo teaching one of his sons to dust cute!
    Good luck.

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