Daytime Free Range Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Reilyjarm, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Reilyjarm

    Reilyjarm Chirping

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    Hi y’all! My flock is SO happy to now be “Free Ranging” out in what I call their chicken sanctuary! They go in their coop at night and by 8 o’clock am I hear them Coooooo coooo coooing for me to open the door so they can roam!! My questions are as followed,

    1) Do they need food & water outside of their coop? The door is always left open when they are out of their house, but I very rarely if ever see them go back inside to drink or eat during the day . Their water and food seem to stay full for days!

    2) Now that they are out of their house, do I need to keep providing Grit? I’ve read conflicting options on this and would like to hear what y’all think!

    3) Our flock is 23 weeks old and still haven’t laid an egg. Any tips on how to speed that along would also be appreciated

    I can’t wait to get their chicken sanctuary looking less bare! I’m thinking lanterns and little lights in the trees, and a stepping stone walking path. My 5 ladies have truly inspired me !!

    Thanks in advance for any advice tips or tricks! Y’all are the bomb! 7D7E95EC-5804-4423-8FEF-3D87166319E3.jpeg
     
  2. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

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    Here are my opinions:

    1) Do they need food & water outside of their coop? The door is always left open when they are out of their house, but I very rarely if ever see them go back inside to drink or eat during the day . Their water and food seem to stay full for days! No

    2) Now that they are out of their house, do I need to keep providing Grit? I’ve read conflicting options on this and would like to hear what y’all think! I have never provided grit for my flock

    3) Our flock is 23 weeks old and still haven’t laid an egg. Any tips on how to speed that along would also be appreciated - nope - patience is the name of the game.
     
  3. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    #1 Yes I provide two water stations one in and one out. Chickens get stuck on stupid sometimes. And when it’s hot they need to find it quick. And when it’s cold it should never freeze.
    #2 Yes you have a lot of
    grass, very little dirt. Mine pick thru rocks and pebbles all day long. Better safe than sorry.
    #3 Nope they lay when their
    ready. Depends on
    breed. Some are slower some start right at 16 weeks.
    Very nice setup. Great pictures. Chickens are so much fun. Best wishes!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Water, possibly. But extra feed lying around just attracts rodents and predators. I don't want rodents, and I doubt you do either.

    Grit? No idea. Mine have access to a driveway with gravel, so I've never worried about it. But it's not like it's expensive.

    Eggs = it'll happen when it happens.

    Just my opinions.
     
  5. Reilyjarm

    Reilyjarm Chirping

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    Thank you everyone!
    The rodents were for sure something I was worried about concerning food , and wasting all the food outside because it will get wet. Ext. I will provide water because they are STUCK.

    After talking to y’all, I’m thinking that the stepping stone path will be in grit, so then, I don’t have to wonder anymore.

    Thank yall so much!!!
     
  6. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Songster

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    You only need additional food if there’s competition for the single station. That won’t happen probably until you add chicks. THAT will definitely happen. ;-)

    In the hotter months, I provide additional water, you don’t want them to get on the other side of too hot.

    Having just lost several chickens to predator attacks from above, I’d consider things that provide shelter and hiding from predators for their sanctuary area! You may already have that, but I didn’t see from the single photo. They don’t have to be plants and trees, it can be temporary, pallets on buckets or blocks, and then water fountains, landscape elements, etc can do the job and still be pretty. You could also plant shrubs and you may need to fence them off if they want to eat them. ;)
     
  7. andreanar

    andreanar Crowing

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    I provide watering areas while they are free ranging in the heat of summer, mine free range a pretty large area. My girls also scratch and dig in a pile of rocks on the property so I don't do grit.
     
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    @jolenesdad makes a very good point! Evergreen shrubs that flower are wonderful for cover. You can plant gardenias, camellias, banana magnolias. This way you can have cover all year and have flowers too. Big bonus the banana magnolias smell great.:)
     
  9. Reilyjarm

    Reilyjarm Chirping

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    Oh my gosh, so helpful!!!!! I have been going back and forth about what plants add!!! Thank you so much!!
     
    Bonniebooboo likes this.
  10. Reilyjarm

    Reilyjarm Chirping

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    D6895C2C-8328-407D-B7AA-7054D9830C53.jpeg 2B264C1C-1736-4B65-B71E-B7702C8F028D.jpeg
    I never even thought about adding protection from an attack from above! I’m so sorry to hear about your losses! They have two large trees , but will totally heed your warning and make them something extra to hide under!!
     
    Bonniebooboo likes this.

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