Hi! I am new to chickens, having six 8 week olds. What worked for me is starting small and being vigilant. I started with half an hour supervised and now we are up to 3 to 4 hours per day, only when I am home and working nearby/outside. In my area, I dont feel comfortable leaving them unsupervised as we have many predators (hawks being my top concern) and I know I wont be able to commit to 4 hours everyday, but whenever I can fit that in safely for them, I do.Have 10 chicks and 7 ducks that are going on 10 weeks old. I am thinking about train them to be free range... anyone have on tips and advices on how to start the process and what to expect
Hello! When you say to have a setup to hold the flock in case of a predator attack, do you mean locked in the coop or a different place?The chance of loss skyrockets with letting them out, them running around, eating grass and bugs is priceless...the secret is to find the sweet spot in the middle.
- Don't let them out on a schedule - sometimes all day, sometimes part of the day, sometimes not at all
- Do have a set up that can hold the flock 24/7 if and when you do get hit. Predators come back, going into lock down is important until they move on.
- Don't let them out are real cloudy days or high wind days. They can't see the hawk shadow, and they can't hear predators.
- The more often and longer you let them out, the farther they will roam. If they get to roaming too far, don't let them out for a while.
- A full grown good rooster (not all roosters are good roosters) close to year old, that has been raised in a free ranging flock is a good asset against day time predators.