Free Range Chickens???


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
I llive in the country and I am going to let my chickens free range the farm yard. What is the best way to introduce them to free ranging and what is the best age. My chicks are only 6 weeks old so I know now is to early. I have a coop built, and I was going to make a temporary run for them. But I would really like to see them roam the entire farm yard. Also if your dog wants to eat chicken what is the best way to break them of it.

By the way this is my first experience owning chickens!


12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
you can start letting them freerange at 12 weeks id start by letting them out 2hrs before dark.that way they wont roam to far away from you might not have to chase them back in.


12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
My 9 week olds have been freerangeing for about 3 weeks on thier own(no MOM), my babies are out with mom right now and they are only 4 weeks. I think they can be out at almost any age, if no mom, then it is up to you to give them a spot to get back to to warm up if they get cold. I agree with only letting them out for a little at a time, till the learn where home is.

As for the dog there are plenty of threads saying how you can do it, and there are plenty that say you can never allow a dog near your chickens. I think it depends on the age/ temperment of the dog. My sudjestion would be to introduce them early and often with dog on leash till you think you can trust him/her, even then I would keep a close eye till you build up a LOT of trust. One running chicken may make the best train dog snap.


Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Dog thing will get you many different ways to deal with it, some saying it can be done, some saying it can't.

I open the gates to the run at about 3 weeks old, and open the run to free ranging at about 5 weeks old, sometimes less, depending on temperature. Most stay near the heat though since it's pretty chilly out here.

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