Free Range chicks?

lexylionheart

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
20
0
24
Southern California
My chickens have 100% free range In the backyard. They do have a coop (actually two) but it is left open for them to come and go as they please. One of them came out of her hidden nest today with four babies and they are adorable.

My question is, should I make them stay in the smaller coop away from the rest of the flock, or should I just let them be? I noticed there are some areas of the yard with carpenter ants, ledges that they won't be able to get up and follow mom (unless they find the way up around the corner) and a chain link fence they can fit thru.

 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
50
193
S.E. AZ
If, you feel they'll be safe from predators, Id let them be. Don't worry bout them not being able to follow mom. She won't leave one behind. Try taking one away and she will follow you, until you give it back. I'd mostly be concerned (besides predators), that they all have access to food and water. She will eventually take them back to her preferred coop, when she feels comfortable to do so.

edit: I just reread you post and noticed the part about the chain link. That might be a problem, as the chicks could get through and away from her. They won't go more than a few feet, but if something can get them while they're out there, that's a problem. Can you put a short height run of chicken wire up as a temporary barrier, along the chain link?
 
Last edited:

lexylionheart

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
20
0
24
Southern California
@azelgin Thank you for responding.

I think hawks would be the only real concern I have as far as predators go. My sister found some mesh netting we will put up this evening when it cools Down a bit.

Mom found her way into the smaller coop and seems comfortable and at home now with the babies.
I am a little nervous about picking one up though. I'm not sure how that works with them only being a day old. I still have plenty if research to do. But she does let me get pretty close to them, so that seems like a good start!
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
178
143
Lower Alabama
I used to let my chicks loose in the yard with my layers but I kept loosing 1/2 them to cats, drowning in buckets of water, getting drenched in rainstorms, stuck in the woodpile and every other chicken misfortune that I decided if I wanted any up them to grow up I needed to keep them in a pen till they were halfway grown.
 
Top Bottom