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Free Range. Will they figure it out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by notsooldmcdonald, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    Well, I took a gamble this afternoon. When I got home from work, I brought out some oatmeal with ground flax seed, and one of the pullets "escaped" out the door. I was able to catch her without much difficulty, but I started thinking about letting them out.

    After calling my neighbors to ask if they'd keep their dog in until dark (approx. an hour from the time I called) I went for it. It was like watching kids on a field trip, running, exploring, and playing games with bits of things they found. Not to mention my worry when they strayed out a bit.

    Dusk arrived, and Trigger (the roo) headed back into the coop with 7 or so girls behind him. The stragglers began to follow...all but 5. I got nervous and started to gather them up. As it got darker, I noticed that when I placed them into the pen, they tended to fall on their noses; clearly they couldn't see very well.

    After rounding everyone up three had roosted on the outside roost, which is not their normal evening pattern. When my husband went down to close the pop door, they were still on the roost. He put them into the coop (on the inside roost)and closed things up.

    My thought was that they couldn't see their way back, and decided to roost where they could (?)[​IMG]. Will they come in earlier next time?

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They should learn. Most mine are up on roosts at or a bit before sunset.
  3. yellowdragon

    yellowdragon Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Springville, Indiana
    They will get the hang of it. I have over 100 ( in 5 different copps) and they all go in their own coops right before dark. I suprised that many made it in the first time. It can take up to 1 week to get the hang of it. I love to watch my chicks when they go out the first time. It is heaven.
    [​IMG] I have too much free time.( or maybe with chicky babies there is always time)

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