Free Range

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Randy17, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. Randy17

    Randy17 In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2007
    Oil City, Pa
    My chickens are around 13 weeks old. Are they old enough to be left to run free range? Will they return to the coop at night on their own?

  2. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    YES! Mine are 10 weeks old and have been free ranging for the past 2 weeks. Every night, they make their way back to the coop around 9:30 p.m.

    I've also found, that if I need them in the coop before they're ready to go in, they'll run right in if I honk my car horn.
  3. I, too, was unsure about them heading back to the coop. So when we started letting them out we did it about an hour before sundown. That way I didn’t have to worry about them for 8 hours and they still got to come out to play. It worked well. A few stragglers at first but after a few weeks they got the hang of it.

    They were about 8 weeks when we first did that. Now they are 12 and come out about 4p and pop back in at sundown.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yep, I let mine start free ranging between 6 and 8 weeks depending on weather. Since I raise them in different areas, it takes a week or so to retrain them to "go home" to the chick pen, the grower pen or the layer house.
  5. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    My 24 EE's have also been free ranging all day long and go in their run by themselves around 8pm every night. I head out and there they all are roosting HIGH on their roosting bars. I didn't even have to teach them to roost at night, they did it all on their own! I'm for sure I have about 4 roosters, although at 13 weeks they are still not crowing! But their tail feathers are iridescent green and are giving them away! [​IMG]
  6. Randy17

    Randy17 In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2007
    Oil City, Pa
    Well yesterday I left my hens free range and when I went to close the coop between 9 and 9:30 all 8 were in the coop waiting for me. Thanks for all the replies!!

  7. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    We've had 2 days of rain so my have been in their pens and were they mad!!!

    This morning it was a beautiful clear and sunny so I went down and let them out and they were so happy. My polish about ran me over getting out.

  8. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    mine are about that old but instead of coming back to their coop (we let them out of the run too) they come back to the run and climb up to the monkey bars (our coop is out of an old play house)and roost. their coop hasnt been used lately [​IMG].

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