Bringing home new hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AshRosc, May 22, 2019.

  1. AshRosc

    AshRosc Chirping

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    I just got 6 hens yesterday, they are about 20 weeks old. They seem to be adjusting to the new coop well, they appear relaxed when I go in and I even got a couple eggs already. I was told by the seller that I should keep them confined to the coop for about 3 days before I let them free range, and after doing some reading I saw that I should keep them confined for a week before letting them free range. How long would really be best to keep them in there? Ultimately I would like them to free range all day long but I don’t want to lose them so I want to make sure I do this right.
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    :welcome

    Is this in a backyard or a country setting? Never mind.... I hunted down your intro thread. Congrats on the acreage!


    I would keep them in the coop for a few days then into a secure run with access to the coop for at least a week. After that I would allow range time for an hour or two in the evening just before dusk so they don't roam to far to find their way back.

    I only range when I can be out there the entire time. I have had hawks try for hens while I was standing right next to the hen. Seriously not kidding.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    The three days will probably be fine. They generally won't go to far from the door to the Coop or run till they are comfortable.
     
  4. AshRosc

    AshRosc Chirping

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    Thank you for the congrats and the advice! I am a little worried about the hawks. We have quite a few out here. Maybe I will have to change my plan. We don’t actually have a run. The farm here is really old (the house was built in 1900 and my guess is most of the outbuildings were built then too) there’s a chicken coop but there was no run built with it. I just figured since it worked for the previous owners it would work for us too but I’m second guessing that now.
     
  5. AshRosc

    AshRosc Chirping

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    May 22, 2019
    Good to know.. thanks for your help!
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    I think back in he old days chicken keeping involved accepting predator losses.

    I am in the middle of town and have plenty of predators. We have hawks, fox and coons not to mention the occasional fence jumping random neighborhood dog.

    I would be building a run. Even if you just use it to keep birds safe until predators move on......but thinking they never really move far. :hmm

    You can perhaps use a hoop tractor to give them fresh forage and some good safety.....
     
  7. Hencraze24

    Hencraze24 Songster

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    1-2 weeks at most.
     
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  8. Col1948

    Col1948 Songster

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    I kept my hens in for 3 days when I first got them, you obviously know why, but if not it is to let them know where home and safety is plus where to sleep lol.
    The first day of letting them free range I had to chase them in the coop, but I should have waited because the next day I left it a bit late and they had gone in themselves and they have ever since.
     
  9. AshRosc

    AshRosc Chirping

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    Sounds like I’ll be adding “build a run” to hubs to do list lol we have all of those predators too! We actually had a possum approach the coop in the evening as we were cleaning up to go in for the night. Luckily the dog let us know he was there. It is crazy though that it only took a few hours for them to realize there was some new food around.
     
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  10. AshRosc

    AshRosc Chirping

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    May 22, 2019
    That’s reassuring to know they went back inside on their own after keeping them confined for 3 days! I’m so nervous we’re going to have to chase them around lol the baby rooster got out yesterday and the dog chased him and we looked ridiculous trying to catch him and get him back to the coop lol
     
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