Free range?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by meltel, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. meltel

    meltel Overrun With Chickens

    I am new to having a lot of chicken. We had my one bird Consuela who wandered up our driveway and found a way into our home and hearts. She got locked out of her coop one day, roosted in a tree and we think a hawk got her. I now have about 15 chickens ranging from a week old to a couple months old. We have land backed by woods-about 5 acres and I would love to let them wander during the day but am afraid that I won't be able to get them back into the coop at night (the older ones). Do they do this on their own or how do you go about doing this and will they stay close? My friend has a flock and hers don't really wander and follow her around and go in the coop on their own. I do handle mine every day. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Calix

    Calix Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2012
    If they see the coop as their home, they should automatically come back at night. Usually they register the coop as 'home base' after a week or two of being kept in the coop/run without free ranging. In my personal experience, they come home with no problem after that.
     
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  3. PitbullandChix

    PitbullandChix Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2016
    Middle Tennessee
    I was worried about this too but after being confined to the coop/run area for about 2 straight weeks, I would let them out for about 2 hours at a time. I would do it around dusk because once the sun sets they naturally want to go in their "home". Initially, they would barely venture further than 5 feet from the coop. I had to chase mine around a little bit to guide them in (and still do now if it's still very light out) but it wasn't very difficult. Now mine are 3 months old and free range for the entire day and if I don't bother with them until dark they will aready be in the coop when I go to lock up. I know the feeling though. I was so nervous and did a head count on my chickens compulsively throughout the day! Still do but I'm getting much better
     
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  4. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Once your flock accepts the coop as their home, the flock will instinctively return to it every night to roost.

    My Buff Orpingtons took forever to get it. My current replacement flock, they got it after only 3 or so days.

    They'll catch on...
     
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