Free range worries....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by X2Farm, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. X2Farm

    X2Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    So now that we're settled into the new place, we'll be building a nice big 10x20 run for the chickens soon, but for now, they're in a 6x12 "tractor"

    I have 6 RIR's 5 hens and 1 Roo....

    I'd like to free range them, for the most part, since we've got plenty of land, but I'm worried they'll not take and end up scattering all over the place. Its been a stressful few weeks for them, with me moving them from the previous owner, moving into our old property, and now onto this one. they've been cooped here for a week or so, but I don't know if thats long enough for them to get the "home" sense? [​IMG] Should I wait another week or so before I turn em loose?

    I've been feeding them a morning and evening ration of cracked corn and BOSS, inside the tractor, as a treat, hoping that would help when we try and free range...

    Advice?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    When you begin to free range them start by letting them out only a few hours before dusk. That way they won't have a chance to wander far before bedtime. They should instinctively return to their coop. If it doesn't work, wrangle them up and lock them up for another week and try the same routine again. I've found "the evil broom" works best for chasing them in.
    Once they have demonstrated that they know to return to the coop at the end of the day, you can start letting them out earlier and earlier until they are out for the majority of the day.
    Don't get impatient at dusk. The young ones especially like to push it to the very last minute.
    Currently, my adult flock are returning to their coop at around 8:15 PM (or half an hour before dark). My chicks like to push it to closer to 8:45 and still are reluctant to go to bed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  3. simpsoncj

    simpsoncj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Great advice!!
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SouthEast Texas
    I think a week is long enough for chickens. They know where the food is by now; just don't expect them to come back before dark.
     
  5. FiveHens

    FiveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:But after I use the "evil broom" they get so scared of me! :[​IMG]
     
  6. X2Farm

    X2Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    Yup, I just over worry I guess [​IMG] I'm sure they'll be fine!!!! I know they gotta be a bit cramped in their quarters right now

    QQuestion tho... I'm planning on an addition to thier existing livin area.. just adding 2 or 3ft legs and walling it in for more room... would they recognize it if they free ranged while I put that together, then go in it alright?

    Ima dork.. I know.. I just wanna be sure n have my bases covered since I'm such a newbie

    Yall are awesome [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:But after I use the "evil broom" they get so scared of me! :[​IMG]

    They get over it. Chickens attention spans are really short.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:If something changes in their enviroment, they usually act more cautious about it, but you should be alright. I added a pop door to my coop (cut into the human-sized door) long after my chickens started living in the coop. They almost immediately started using the pop door. Funny thing is, I can have the human door wide open and they will actually walk around the opening to go thru the pop door. [​IMG]
     

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