chicks free ranging

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kimberly4403, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Kimberly4403

    Kimberly4403 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2015
    My 3 wyandotte chicks are about 7-8weeks old now and fully feathered they have been out in there coop/run now for about 4 weeks.. When can i start letting them out to free range? Im worried they wont come back also will they get over our 5ish foot fence? We have parkand on 1 side and a main road on the other..
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    They are certainly homed to the area by now and are unlikely to leave it (or go over a 5' fence) however I would not recommend letting them free range until they are 16-18 weeks of age. Right now they are still small and very vulnerable to predators, much more so than a mature hen.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    x 3 But, I wouldn't expect a 5 ft. fence to keep them inside forever - some breeds are great fliers even at a very early age. A covered run would be a great investment. If free ranging racks up too many casualties - a secure run can save the day. In fall a lot of raptors migrate and drop down for any easy snacks they can find during their journey.
  5. Kimberly4403

    Kimberly4403 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2015

    They already have a covered 8x4 foot run that we move to fresh grass every few days but we would love them to be able to go and eat all the grasshoppers in our gardens too.. A large part of getting them was so they could help keep weeds and bugs at bay so we would eventually like to free range them
  6. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2016
    Birmingham, England, UK.
    Hi I have a question. My hen hatched nine chicks which are now three weeks old and this week she took them outside the coop for the first time. They have a covered enclosure attached to the coop and for a couple hours a day I'm out there with them while they free range. There are too many cats nearby for me to feel they are safe out there without supervision yet. My question is, is it ok for them to be out in the rain? Today is light rain and tomorrow heavy rain is forecast. Should I shut them in the coop tomorrow or trust their mother to take them in when it rains?
  7. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2016
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Probably not the best advice but mine were free ranging from about 6 weeks. They were out in the coop at 4-5 weeks.
    At first they wouldn't go far and as time went on, they started to explore farther. Always returning to the coop/roost.
    They have lots of bushes and tree cover.

    They have a big unprotected run which they use as well.
    I've been lucky so far but for peace of mind, I'm in the process of making another run that is secure.
  8. I free ranged my chicks at 6 weeks...I never let them be by themselves though, they knew where home was..They mostly stay close to home a first and love to run and flap their wings...They will be fine..Never leave them out though...Alone...
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016

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