At what age to free range

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arthurpete, May 17, 2011.

  1. arthurpete

    arthurpete Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    I bought some sex links at roughly 6 weeks of age. This was about 4 weeks ago so they are around 10 weeks old. I have them in a 4x12 run and coop tractor - they have been there ever since i brought them home. In the past week, 2 of the braver ones have either attempted to fly out or attack my hand - which i doubt is the case. Anyways they seem interested in flying the coop so to speak. They have had the tractor as an established home now for close to a month, is this long enough to test the waters? Do i need to trim their wings now?


    thanks
     
  2. Unclebean

    Unclebean Rest in Peace 1977-2013

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    Jun 10, 2010
    Tower City, PA
    You should be good to go! Since they know where "home" is they will return each evening. Good luck!
     
  3. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    I got my 4 red sex links at 3 months. Kept them in tractor for 1 week before freeranging. Been out all day since. I did not clip wings because they have not attempted to fly over the 6 foot privacy fence. It would not hurt them to clip them at that age. I like mine to have good wing power for if the cat or dogs chase them or they fall in to the pool.
     
  4. arthurpete

    arthurpete Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    a side question aggie, what age did your links start laying? I have a couple reds and a black....

    I'll give a try this weekend, dont want to be chasing them around the yard around dark 30. I like the idea of them being able to fly if needed but we have lots of trees that they could get into as well.
     
  5. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    Started laying at about 16-17 weeks. Been steady since at nearly an egg a day each. Great chickens.

    Mine all started going to bed at dark the first day they were out. Never had to herd them.
     
  6. arthurpete

    arthurpete Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    ok so i got a bit anxious with it. I left the door out when i got home last night which gave them about an hour n half to venture out. They were all out within a few minutes and took to safety of my daughters playhouse. They seemed to enjoy themselves by dusting and foraging, they looked natural.

    Everything was fine except when it was getting close to dusk they didnt seem to want to go in or at least how to get back in. I had to pick a few of the less timid ones up and place them in there and the rest i had to shoo back the way they came. Hopefully they get the process down pat. In other good news, our cat seemed to pay them no mind and got within a few feet several times. I think she was more interested in receiving some attention than investigating the chickens.
     
  7. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
    South-west Idaho
    It took about a week for our chicks to figure out that the coop was "safety." Although every now & again I find them sleeping in the dog's house (little boogers!) rather than the chicken house. It sounds like your's will soon figure it out with your help. Usually once one or two head for bed, the rest follow.

    I'm glad your cat leaves them alone! Hopefully she'll be a good guard cat. [​IMG]

    We trimmed the wings once they started flapping to get onto things (i.e. the gas grill.) If they're not trying to fly, there's no point. (We actually need to re-trim the wings since they now "fly" rather than run when they're trying to get to the treats.)
     

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