First time free ranging, they love it, but will they go back home?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cupman, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Portland, OR
    I let my 12 chickens free range for the first time today. We have a lot of predators so I've always been against it but for some reason today when I went to fill their water I just let them all out. They are having a great time. Will they go back home at night? I am kind of spooked, we have some hawks here but the crows pretty much keep them at bay but the neighbor has 2 dogs and I would hate for the naive chickens to fly over the fence and meet their demise. Will luring with food work? I usually give them all my fruits and vegetables that are getting old but they are feasting on my garden at the moment, another thing I didn't think about, so will they even be interested in my lettuce? Do you guys do anything special to herd them back in at night?
     
  2. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will start out close, and move further away each time. They will set their limits if you can not. Mine love the woods and the dirt pile. On occassion, they make it to the front yard. At night, they will go right back to the coop. Their roosts are home and are a safe place, they will return. All I do is close the run door at night.
     
  3. Jeevesrules

    Jeevesrules Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Otley, Leeds, England
    are they roosting in their coop every night when there not ranging? if so, they will probably return when it gets dark. you could give them 'supervised ranging' and watch them as they wanner around, then you could attempt to intervene if a predator attacked. its up to you. :thumbs up
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Hopefully they won't be interested in flying over the fence. Chickens tend to like keeping the coop within their range of vision, generally. If they have a favorite vegetable you can probably lure them in if you need to, but the chickens do come home to roost at dusk.
     
  5. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    My guess is they will go right home at dusk....
     
  6. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Nerve wracking to let them out the first time, isn't it. We have a small yard with no fences between neighbors so we have supervised free ranging when we are home. They all go back in the coop at dusk. They line up and walk in one behind the other. Really funny and amazing to watch at the same time. I am going to fence off an area because two of our girls are adventurous and love to wander off on their own. The other four usually stay fairly close to each other. The hardest part is if they go off in opposite directions toward a neighbor or the woods. Much easier to let them out an hour before sunset so they won't wander too far.
     
  7. daver

    daver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You be amazed at what they know and do by instinct.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, let me guess they all went home at dusk?
     
  9. daver

    daver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Linden, NC
    Quote:Ours point to their watches and tell ME when it's time for bed.

    Dave
     
  10. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Portland, OR
    Sort of. Some of them were trying to sleep outside so I had to herd them back inside at around 8pm. It wasn't completely dark yet but it was gettin to be that time when the coons start waking up. I'm sure after a few days it'll be routine. Thanks everyone.
     

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