Free Range

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RocketChick, May 10, 2009.

  1. RocketChick

    RocketChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Hi!
    When are most chickens fully grown? Like from chicks that go peep peep to the fat little all feathery birds that go buck buck buck? Just curious ha. One of my chicks are a black giant and I'm aware they grow slower, correct? (well, it takes longer for them to get fully grown since they get bigger)

    Some of my chicks are ready to go outside. I think it's fine because it's hot during the day and warm during the night. I would keep them in a coop only, because they're still small(dinosaur chicks) and I feel uncomfortable letting them out free at this size. When is it okay to let them free range completely? (I plan to let them out during the day and lock them in the coop during the night in the future)
    Thanks!
     
  2. melody123

    melody123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
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    I let my chickens go outside during the day when they are about 1 month old. At that point they look like little chickens, and not fluffy chicken mcnuggets to the farm cats.[​IMG]

    What you do depends on your situation. Are there any predators nearbye, like dogs, cats, coyotes, racoons, etc? Do you have a safe place for them to hang out? What is the weather like in your area. (Snow on the ground or sunny clover ground.)

    I think that chickens are 'grown' around 6-8 months. But they probably do a little growing after that. Also, some breeds are different. The chicken that is grown for KFC is going to grow a lot faster than a heritage breed.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Chicks can be housed in a draft free predator proof coop at any age provided you can keep it to the temp. necessary for their age. 90 to 95 the first week, decrease by 5 degrees a week until you are down to 70 degrees. If you have been decreasing the heat as such, they should be fine without additional heat in the 6 week age range.
    I started introducing my chicks to the idea of free ranging at 2 1/2 weeks old. At first it was just for short periods on warm days and with constant supervision. I decreased the supervision and increased the time outside as they grew.
    By 4 months they were free ranging all day, with me checking on them every other hour or so. Now they're grown and I check on them once or twice a day.
     
  4. m2wandc

    m2wandc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2009
    That got me thinking...once they are outside and 'used to' being outside...when the weather drops down during winter...are you supposed to 'heat' their coop or have they adapted to the lower temps (I'm in california, so it's not THAT cold, but we do have random feezing nights where we get frost on everything in the wee hours of the morning)
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Some folks live in places where there is extreme cold, so they heat and I think that's okay for them. Our wintertime temps. usually don't go much lower than the teens.
    My chickens haven't had heat since they were 5 1/2 weeks old. They are acclimated to our weather and do just fine. I chose a winter hardy breed so I wouldn't have to worry about preventing frost bitten combs and such. I don't even close the shutters on my coop unless it's going to get below 40 overnight. In California, I can't imagine you having to worry about using heat.
     
  6. m2wandc

    m2wandc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't think so, but this thread got me wondering... [​IMG] Thanks!
     

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