Encouraging new chooks to come home to roost

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mrsxtro, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. mrsxtro

    mrsxtro Hatching

    Feb 16, 2007
    Queensland, Australia
    Hi from Queensland.
    Just a quick question....
    I have had chooks before but unfortunately during the last 18 months have had to give my girls up whilst living at my parent's place whilst waiting for our new house to be built.
    Finally we are in our new house on 8 acres and have just purchased 5 new girls to live in my beautiful new coop. However, I have forgotten how long I need to keep them in the coop before they realise that is where they need to return to at night. They will be free-ranging unless I have any problems with predators during the day. They have quite a large 'yard' to roam in (8 acres) so I am a little concerned they will wander too far and will forget how to get home again.
    Any thoughts and ideas gratefully accepted.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  2. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    I'd keep them penned for at least a week, maybe two. Then they will be well settled in and will find their way back each evening.

  3. ncboman

    ncboman In the Brooder

    Feb 14, 2007
    I agree. You should have a pen, even if they free range.

    When you begin letting them free, do it only in the afternoons for a week or so. This conditions them not to roam so far when completely freed. I also like to feed up about an hour before sundown. This trains everyone to be near the coop well before foxes and coons start their rounds and gives them something to start on next morning.

    If threatened, they will often run to the pen for security. By having small openings in the pen for free ranging, you can control them better and provide them an escape in certain instances. ALWAYS have at least two openings so they can't get cornered, rather go round and round the fence if somethings after them. [​IMG]

  4. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    All good information, I don't think you need to worry that they will go to far.

    I set a waterer outside in the shade near the coop, this helps to keep the birds hydrated during warm weather, and helps them to stick around too.

    My chickens have all the freedom they want and never go farther than 200 yards from the coop. We have alot of spruce trees all over and the birds use them to escape hawks and eagles.

    We only keep the birds locked up in the pen attached to the coop, when we aren't home. Being around and keeping a eye open also helps if a dog or other threat is around.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: