Free range chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Eric R, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Eric R

    Eric R Songster

    96
    85
    111
    Jul 12, 2017
    So my chickens free range all day and a few of them have chicks. My question is what happens when they leave the chicks? Has anyone kept their chicks free range after momma leaves them? I figured its fine but wanted some feedback. We did have a few picked off by hawks when they were tiny chicks but now are almost a month old and much faster. Haven't lost any lately.
     
    chickens really likes this.
  2. annaBsChick

    annaBsChick Songster

    129
    101
    126
    Nov 24, 2014
    Herndon, VA
    I would worry about predators.
     
    Eric R likes this.
  3. Eric R

    Eric R Songster

    96
    85
    111
    Jul 12, 2017
    Certainly. And I do but I think back to when my grandparents had chickens and I never saw chicks in a cage. They were either with mama or running around on their own groups of juveniles. I remember one time a large group of chicks almost all grew up to be roosters and thus went in the pot. But they were almost fully grown by that point and they were completely free range from hatch.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    14,178
    14,228
    716
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Mine are out with the flock, and especially the bantam juveniles are sometimes lost to hawks. They are still somewhat bonded with mama, and do learn proper behaviors faster than brooder raised chicks. Free ranging any chickens anywhere is risky, and will include losses from predation at times.
    Mary
     
    Sherloki and Eric R like this.
  5. Perris

    Perris Crowing

    1,187
    4,570
    327
    Jan 28, 2018
    Gower, Wales
    It is what will happen naturally if you don't intervene. I have two groups of juveniles running round now, one 8 wk one 10 wk; lost an 8 wk old presumably to a hawk 3 days ago (he/she just went missing, and I found magpie feathers on the lane under a good perch branch next day). The rest weren't spooked so I guess none of us witnessed it.
     
    Eric R likes this.
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Yes...If not too concerned about losses that's exactly how my Granny did it too..Totally up to you...:frow
     
    Eric R likes this.
  7. Phoenixmaine81

    Phoenixmaine81 In the Brooder

    49
    37
    44
    Jun 9, 2019
    I free free range mine they are so not restricted at all only closed safe in the coupe but they are now going on their own about half HR after sunset I don't have to gather n herd them as much ... with 12 chicks running around only six wks old there's so many head counts thru out the day but they don't go far n if they do my cat sends em back..my cat guards my chicks coupe at night..took on a coon n ran him off..no eggs for another 3-4 months but get him gone anyways
     
    Eric R likes this.
  8. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Yep, after mom leaves them they pretty much know what to do.
    Even my brooder babies are out ranging by the time mom would have left.
    They do fine too. If you watch chicks no matter broody or brooder raised they're preloaded with at least some sense of impending danger. :)
     
    Eric R likes this.
  9. Eric R

    Eric R Songster

    96
    85
    111
    Jul 12, 2017
    Yeah. I may just put out some more cover for them and if I start to see more losses then may pen them up. Thanks all!
     
  10. Phoenixmaine81

    Phoenixmaine81 In the Brooder

    49
    37
    44
    Jun 9, 2019
    Ok this is totally cross talk here but I homestead in northern Maine n u mentioned earth covered home?? I really want to see... I've been saying i wanna do that.we.. had below zero temps from Nov til not that long ago it's actually only low 40s still and humidity is 88%...we have temperature and real feel cus of the wind will drop temps biting cold winds cus the humidity's so high...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: