Free Range Question, Adding in Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by uncle, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. uncle

    uncle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2011
    I have 6 mutt chickens that are great. They free range all day and always come in at night.
    I have 30 Dominique Chicks that are 8 weeks old. I have them in a separate brooder/pen and keep them penned up.
    I want to move them over to the main chicken house and let them free range, but don't know how to go about doing it.
    My plan is that after the Doms are up and laying good to send my original 6 to the stew pot.
    I though about locking them all in the main coup for awhile but the coup is really not large enough for the to live in very long and have room to run around.
    Advise please...
    Brian
     
  2. uncle

    uncle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2011
    By looking at a couple other posts, they might be a little young yet.
    Brian
     
  3. madrona

    madrona Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 3, 2009
    We start our chicks free-ranging at 5 weeks.

    The way we do it is to open the door of the brooder pen in the daytime, and let them wander outside at their own pace. Five-week-olds are smart enough to learn where the door is and to go back inside when they want food or water. If you make the door small enough that they can fit through, but your big free-range chickens can't get into the brooder pen to eat up the chick starter, it works well. Otherwise, you just let everyone eat chick starter for a few weeks, while they're outside, and keep your layer feed in the big-chicken area.

    You can give your inexperienced free-rangers occasional treats in their pens (when the big chickens aren't around to scarf it all up) so the little ones can practice going in and out of their door. And you close their door at night, once they're safely inside.

    Later, when you want them to join the big chickens, you just move them at night from their pen to the big chicken house. Then keep them confined in the big chicken area for a couple days til they learn that they belong there, and take away the brooding pen altogether. Help them settle in and orient with scratch for the first few nights.
     
  4. uncle

    uncle Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2011
    Great advise Madrona.
    I will start on this this weekend.
    Brian
     

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