at what age is it safe to free range

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ga*chick*, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. ga*chick*

    ga*chick* Songster

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Ga
    Chicks are now 6 weeks..think its safe to let them out to range with the older chickens?

    I'm a bit hesitant because there has been alot of hawk and owl activity. Don't want to lose anyone to attack.
     
  2. brkuk

    brkuk Songster

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Howell, Mi
    I am no expert but I let mine free range at 12 weeks. Good luck.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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  4. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

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    At no point is free range "safe".

    While a 12 week old is less likely to be killed by a hawk, it happens.

    Predators are out there, see them or not. I lost two full grown, hen turkeys to a fox that had never been here before.

    I've seen an owl decide to kill a grown hen but be unable to do nothing with it.

    In a truly free range situation, you lose stock. That's the way it is.

    Six weeks is something a hawk would fine proper prey sized to remove in most breeds.

    It's best to design hides, trim bushes to provide broad dense shelter, provide netted space and other safe zones - to provide SHINY objects to deter hawks like hanging CDs/DVDs.

    Those help. But there is NO true safety for a free ranged animal, ever.

    If you want safety you build a big, wire enclosure, with a top and dig wire and small mesh and hope.
     
  5. ga*chick*

    ga*chick* Songster

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Ga
    Okay...

    6 weekers are already mingling with big chickens..they are doing fine.
    I have plenty of hiding spaces live on 8 acres of woods.
    They hawks have always been around, but I have never had a problem with them before,knock on wood. Its stray dogs that like to thin my flock...and they disapear once caught.

    I'll probably wait a couple more weeks, have new seed in the veg. garden. Don't want them helping themselves to a buffet..lol

    Thanks for your suggestions!
     
  6. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Songster

    Sep 19, 2008
    Nebraska
    I've got 7week old chickens and they've been free ranging in the evenings now for the past few weeks. I leave the door open so they can go back in if they want and about 1/2 stay out the entire time, and the other 1/2 like to stay in the coop!
     

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