At what age is a good age to let them free roam?

beegirl950

In the Brooder
Oct 23, 2020
24
58
46
Pikeville, Tennessee
I tried to take advantage of the less hours for egg layers and get some new chicks. That way I am not so upset about them crapping in the egg boxes because the big hens are preventing the roosting pecking order. Well I have some 7 week old's that I got on Oct 4th that are still not roosting. They are not 7 weeks old now, they are 13 weeks. Then I purchased some chicks the 2nd week in October and the 4th week in October. I am keeping these in Juvenile pens now that they are all outside of the brooder. My question is when is it safe to let them free roam like I do with the rest of my chickens, Will they go back into their coops? I still have some young welsummers who cant seem to make it into the box. Every night I am out there with a flashlight putting them into their little coop. I have a main coop and two little coops. One of the little coops is attached to the main coop with a dog cage on the inside so they are seeing the main hens and the main coop. The other one which has even younger birds is sperate. Advice?
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,281
29,272
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I'm sure you won't agree with this , but I say never but I have had losses from predators so I don't free range anymore but my birds have nice large pens. It's a risk you take and sooner or later you will loose a bird/birds to predators. Good luck and have fun...
 

beegirl950

In the Brooder
Oct 23, 2020
24
58
46
Pikeville, Tennessee
Thanks for the reply but I expect to have some loses. The other day when it was really cold, there were at least 4 or 5 hawks in the vicinity, and being the empath that I am, they were calling to me "please give or we will take" Their calls were those of animals pleading for survival. All of ma nature matters, I am willing to give if they are good enough to get it. But that does not answer my question. When should I lit the little biddies out of the pen?
 

HappyDuckie

🙄🤚 Almighty Queen of Orplingtons 🥶🙏💙
Sep 30, 2020
10,001
86,097
1,206
The Bermuda Triangle
Mine usually start free ranging whenever they can jump out of the brooder box inside the run. Which is around 4 or 5 weeks. Yours should be good to free range, and they should return to their coop.
 

Peaches Lee

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 19, 2010
2,260
1,094
361
Pennsylvania
If you still have some individuals not making it into the coop--I would wait a little longer. It's tough for me to give you an exact time because I feel all breeds are just a bit different with regards to readiness. Like my Cornish--they could take to the wild and get back to the coop the day they're hatched! But my Orps--they took a little (a lot) longer. I guess it's like the German term "fingerspitzengefuhl"-- knowing when to do something through intuition rather than hard facts.
 

springvalley123

Crowing
6 Years
May 22, 2015
1,152
4,008
497
North of Phoenix
I've let mine loose in the fenced yard anywhere from 4-8 weeks. I had a group of andalusians no more than 8 weeks gather and fend off a feral cat (I was shocked as I was ready to chase it off and they beat me to it!). But they were all at least practicing roosting. It might be possible to herd them in at dusk if they don't return but I wouldn't bet on it.
 

beegirl950

In the Brooder
Oct 23, 2020
24
58
46
Pikeville, Tennessee
Tomorrow I am letting out the ones in the coop/dog cage. I am going to hold back on the other ones since I have a pair of Welsummers that can't seem to get up in the mini-coop. Every night in this unusual cold snap, I have to put them in. So I am going to hold off on them. Thanks, I am going to let it all hang out. I have caught my 15 week old polish rooster not making it into the big coop. He is quite amusing, usually is on the top of an egg box trying to hide behind the door. I am a good chicken mama, I go out and check. chickens make me laugh and laugh.
 

springvalley123

Crowing
6 Years
May 22, 2015
1,152
4,008
497
North of Phoenix
Tomorrow I am letting out the ones in the coop/dog cage. I am going to hold back on the other ones since I have a pair of Welsummers that can't seem to get up in the mini-coop. Every night in this unusual cold snap, I have to put them in. So I am going to hold off on them. Thanks, I am going to let it all hang out. I have caught my 15 week old polish rooster not making it into the big coop. He is quite amusing, usually is on the top of an egg box trying to hide behind the door. I am a good chicken mama, I go out and check. chickens make me laugh and laugh.
Good to hear you're enjoying your birds! They can be entertaining.
 

beegirl950

In the Brooder
Oct 23, 2020
24
58
46
Pikeville, Tennessee
I've let mine loose in the fenced yard anywhere from 4-8 weeks. I had a group of andalusians no more than 8 weeks gather and fend off a feral cat (I was shocked as I was ready to chase it off and they beat me to it!). But they were all at least practicing roosting. It might be possible to herd them in at dusk if they don't return but I wouldn't bet on it.
Wow jungle chickens prevail, its no wonder that they are the most successful bird breed in the world.........go chickes!!!!
 

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