first day of free ranging in high risk area!!

cjbollinger

Hatching
8 Years
Aug 21, 2011
5
0
7
Whew! What an exciting morning it has been. It all started when our old english rooster came shooting out of the coop to great the day and flew right over the fencing. I thought wow, this is going to be a challenge getting him back in with out letting everybody out. He looked immediately relaxed and started munching on fresh grass. We've been vacillating on whether to let our chicks free range because we have countless eagles, hawks and vultures cruising the skies. As it is we've already had an attack within the chick run. The run was shaped so it was too difficult for the bird of prey to carry the rooster out. I flushed the hawk out and cooped the rest of the chickens. But today, watching our old english look so happy to be exploring I thought well, let's give a try. I let the rest of the 14 members out (wyndottes, belgian quails & old english). They are having a blast! It's as if they've been given carte blanche at Disneyland. I just hope they are alert and safe….any suggestions? Tips on getting them back into the coop at dusk??

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ailurophile23

Songster
9 Years
Dec 21, 2010
492
56
111
VA
A container (bucket, yogurt container, etc.) with scratch in it usually has my hens following me back into their enclosed run/coop. Sounds like your crew is enjoying the extra space to forage - hope they stay safe!
 

LizaBlue

Songster
9 Years
Oct 26, 2010
234
5
103
Wee Acres
Ours free range over 2 acres, but mostly have a favorite roosting spot in a dead tree just over the fence in the woods on our neighbors yard - silly chickens, don't they know they're trespassing? Woods surround our cleared off lot, but we layed an unused culvert on the ground between the coop and the barn: they seem to know that if they run against it, the predatory birds will have trouble getting them. As for returning to coop: don't go near them at sunset, just watch at a distance, and I bet they will return like good little girls and boys. The only time I have trouble with mine (even from day one in their new home) is when I'm hanging around before their bedtime. If you have a rooster, he will probably give a few crows 10-20 min. before bed to round them up and he will be the last one in. I'm a first time chicken owner, but this is what goes on with our chickens. The stupid turkeys and guineas however, are a completely different story
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Chick15

Songster
8 Years
Apr 21, 2011
505
2
123
If when they are in their run they go into the coop by themselves then they should know to go inside. Even if they are free ranging.
 

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