Free Range Chickens


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
I plan on letting my chickens roam the yard as the please. They are about 6 weeks old now. Does anyone have any idea as to when I can start letting them free range. Also how do you teach them or do they just now to go back to the coop at night. I was hoping for a few ideas on when and how to get them free ranging my country yard.
I wouldn't think until they were fully grown...I'd be scared of predators getting ahold of them. Especially when they're smaller....Good luck! I'm sure someone here can give better advice than what I have...
I used to let my girls free-range until a neighbors dog got 3 of them. I started letting them out around 3 months old. They wandered 3 yards over and back all day long and would come back to the coop when it started getting dark.

Just some friendly advice. Know what is in your area that could harm them. I thought I was safe and it cost me.
Hi there....We planned for several years to have chickens and to free range them. Last year, I was at my kitchen sink and right before my eyes a hawk flew down and captured a flicker right in my yard.

I am not in a super remote area....way in the wild. I am in the country, but there are plenty of homes around etc...

Not two weeks later the same thing happened in our back yard only the poor victim was a mourning dove.

We will be using a chicken tractor with a sturdy top.....

These incidents made their mark on us....We even have seen eagles this year in the field right behind us. :eek:
We've always let our chickens free range on our property while we're home. (I'm a SAHM, so we're home alot!) We have an enclosed run attached to our coop, and when the chicks are young, like yours, we let them have access to that. That way they get used to putting themselves to bed at night. (If you have chicks still out after dark, it helps to turn a light on in the coop, they'll soon find they're way back in.) Once they're going in and out well enough on their own, I start opening the door to the run and letting them wander about the yard, supervised. You may have to show them the way back to the coop a few times, but they'll soon figure it all out. Good luck!
i also was wondering when to safely let mine range around my yard? when are they considered "full grown". we have a tree full of big crows right in the yard. i am sure when they are really big the crows won't bother them but when will that be? mine are about 7-8 weeks old now.
We used to let our chicks free-range from when they were about 10 weeks old. A fox got them in the broad daylight when they were 16 weeks old and fully grown, though...these were big BO chicks and the fox got all three. We figured they would be safe because they were locked up at night
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