Free range for 9 week old chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by darcy, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. darcy

    darcy Hatching

    Jul 6, 2007
    I have read all the posts on this subject and it sounds pretty grim. I have 11 girls and 2 boys, Rhode Island Reds. They are wanting out of their pen in the worst way. We have 20 acres in the Nevada desert and there is not much cover. Do you think I could let them run around for a while if I stay with them? or are they just too young? They are fairly good size, but still peeping. Gosh I love them, they are so tame they jump onto my lap to be petted. thanks for any input, Darcy
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Mine have been free ranging since about 10 weeks. I know everyday I open the door I risk loosing them. But I think it's better for them than being coop up all day long in a run.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I've let my 3-4 week old birds free range with the rest of the chickens. It is a risk though because predators can snatch them up just like that. It makes me happy to see them running around though so it's up to you.
  4. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    Before you turn them completely loose I recommend a trial run. What I did was make a temporary run right outside their door and let them out while I was around. I gradually extended the run bigger and bigger till they got use to where the house was. By temporary I mean I used a roll of fencing (2ft high) I didn't use posts to secure it I just unrolled it and made a circular run. I was always on hand I never left them at all. Now my babes are 21 wks old and they know where and when and how to get to the house. I still lock up the house at night to keep preds away. But my babes roost out under the stars in the permanent run. It may sound like alot of trouble but it was worth my peace of mind to do it like that.

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