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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lindalue, Jun 26, 2011.
At what age do you let the chickens out to roam the yard ?
Quote:It depends, I have different age flocks so I usually wait till their about 3 months old to mix with the others!
I have a dog pen close to the main coop and I will put the smaller feathered chicks in that from the brooder to finish getting bigger. They are usually about 2 months old when I open the door and let them mingle with the bigger birds which includes the Jersey Giant rooster. They do fine, the hens will peck them about food but for the most part ignore them and leave to go free range about the barn and yard. The little ones usually hang close to the pen and coop area which is surrounded by a grassy yard so as they become braver they can explore the grass, scratch in the dirt and if startled dash back to the barn. Usually on their own they go back to the pen at dusk to bed down for the night and I close the door.
If you have a broody hen raising them, they can go out 1-2 days old. So much healthier! Otherwise, not till much later.
Back when I had brooder raised chicks (vs. a broody) I started taking them out around 2 weeks old, on warm sunny days. At first I gave them constant supervision, then less and less supervision as they grew.
Actually if you have a fenced garden, and a cardboard box, you CAN put chicks in a garden. They will crawl all over, take a nap under the beans, eat a few bugs, but their digging and scratching is not powerful enough to destroy plants, like a full grown chicken would do. Have the chicks sleep a few nights in the cardboard box, then put the box on the side in the garden. As it gets dark they will all head back to the box, and you tip it up and bring them in.