FREE RANGE??

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MaggiesOrganic, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. MaggiesOrganic

    MaggiesOrganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Hi there,

    I am relatively new to backyardchickens.com and have 15 chickens. This is our first flock, and it has turned into more of an adventure than I expected. I also enjoy the chickens much more than I expected!

    We have 15 chickens: 5 black Austrolorp hens, 1 Rhode Island White hen, 3 Rhode Island red hens, 4 Barred Rock hens, 1 Barred Rock rooster, 1 caramel-colored hen.

    Their hen-house is spacious, and they have about 250 square feet of enclosed coop. Do I need to also allow them freedom to roam the yard once in a while? If so, how do I get them to go back into the coop?

    Our plan for next spring is to build an additional coop of the same size so that we can alternate their living space year to year.

    CLUCK!
     
  2. BethChick78

    BethChick78 Out Of The Brooder

    I too worried about getting my girls back in but actually, after running around after them on the first evening, I soon realized that they come back it of their own accord when it's time to roost. If I do need to get them in during the day, a handful of scratch works a treat! Letting then out for a change of scenery is always nice I think.

    Enjoy
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Access to the yard will give them activities they love like scratching for bugs and seeds, dust bathing and the sunlight will give them much needed vitamin D.
    Once they've slept somewhere for a few days they'll always go back to the same place at dusk. If they haven't been out at all I would let them out the first time about an hour before dusk so they won't venture so far they can't find their way back. Once they orient themselves to their surroundings there won't be a problem.

    Having another coop is a good idea for quarantining new birds as well as the sick and injured.
    I like the idea of occasionally leaving a building empty.
    The only problem with moving them is that it will take a while before they want to sleep there and they'll keep trying to get back to the other one for a few weeks.
     
  4. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    When it starts to turn to dusk your chickens will put themselves to bed. If they are too young they may need a night light but they are really good at going to bed on time. My youngest little pullets sometimes would find a corner and bed down and I had to go find them first but eventually they all learned to get into the coop. Some even go early to get the best roost - Like old ladies in church over a favorite pew.

    Enjoy
    Caroline
     
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    My Coop
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  6. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
     
  7. MaggiesOrganic

    MaggiesOrganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2013
    HA! Thanks for all of your thoughtful responses! Seriously, I just care so much about these crazy chickens and I can't explain why ;)

    I will try setting them free for an hour or two before dusk and see how that works out.
    Cheerio!
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG]you sound like just the right kind of chicken lover - glad you joined the flock
     
  9. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us!
     

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