can they free range?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ninjascrub69, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. ninjascrub69

    ninjascrub69 Songster

    Aug 13, 2010
    Bloomingdale, MI
    my newest chickens are 8 weeks old, will they come back if i let them free range?
  2. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    I would be leery only cause I've never let mine out that young. Maybe someone that has can chime in.

    I would suggest that if you've just put them in their outside coop to keep them locked up for a week or so, so than can learn where home is. Then they will always know where it is and will put themselves to bed at night!!

    Good Luck!
  3. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    They will probably hang out close to their pen for a while before they wander farther out. They should go back to their pen when it starts getting dark. I've had plenty that i've had to round up and put away. Just make sure you go looking for them about 30 minutes before it gets dark so if they don't go to their pen you can still see to find them. They may find some where to roost for the night. I've found mine in trees, on top of the shed. Behind a board leaned up against the shed. They will try to hide where ever they decide to sleep for the night so that is why it's better to make sure they are all in their pen before it gets dark.

    We where busy processing some meaties tonight and didn't make sure they all went to bed and had to find a few. Normally they would have just gone to bed on their won but we moved them to a bigger pen today. Their routine was thrown off. Plus watching us kill and cut up chickens must have been a little un nerving.
  4. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    Quote:And Missi is right. If they haven't been outside long and in their pen outside long, I wouldn't let them out yet. They need to get used to the fact that their save zone is that pen. They will stay close to it when you do let them out and run inside if they feel unsafe.
    I have some silkie/sizzle/frizzles that just wouldn't go inside their pen at night. They would pile up just outside the open door but wouldn't go inside. So I put a phoenix hen in with them and they started to go inside but not all did. When I would get them inside they would sleep outside in the run. It didn't matter if it was pouring rain they wouldn't go in the coop for some reason. After seveal months they did get used to it and started to roost even. I think they are the ones that labeled chickens as being dumb. I would have to pick each one up and set them inside the coop at night. They would pile up right at the door until I put the hen in with them.
  5. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I let my 9 week olds come out yesterday. I bought these chicks 3 weeks ago.



    They had been in a coop at night and were in the pen behind them in the picture during the day....I had physically moved them there each day from the overnight coop for the last 3 weeks.
    They stayed around with the other chickens for the rest of the day and did not stray to far from the run.I moved them back into the run (With the signal I had gotten them used to "Chickens".....which means I have food treats for them) in order to catch them up and place them in the coop for night.
    I wouldn't trust my chicks to be able to find the coop or for them to see fit to follow the adults into the adult coop which is next to their own.
    I think you would be taking a big risk if you don't have an 'easy catch' strategy for your 8 weeks olds. You do not say as to whether your chicks have momma with them, as, if they do, matters are usually much easier.


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