free rangeing

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bryan8, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. bryan8

    bryan8 Songster

    May 21, 2009
    New york
    How do you do it?

    I have ten 6 week old red sex links and a 1 1/2 year old bantie that thinks its there mother.

    Do I just let them out and they know what to do? Or do I have to teach them.

    Also how to do teach them propery lines???

    And how to they get protection from hawks and foxes and such?


    ps. sorry I had alot of questions
  2. badnfluinz

    badnfluinz Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Viola, Illinois
    With mine I let them out only while I am out with them. They will go back into the coop in the evening to roost, if not you will have to catch them and put them up. Mine always have with no problems. As far as property lines go! Forget it!
  3. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:Unless you have a fenced yard or farm you can forget teaching them property lines. They will stay close to their coop in the beginning and explore a little more each day. They should all return to the coop of a night. If you are not fenced or at least electric fence, you are going to have predator problems. Hawks you need to make sure they have plenty of objects to hide under but you will still lose one every once in while.
  4. citrusdreams

    citrusdreams Songster

    May 4, 2009
    I start free ranging my new chicks after they've been in their coop or their own area for several weeks, then I start leaving the gate open. So far, everyone has come back when they know where their home is.

    Around dusk, I'd make sure everyone is heading back to where they're supposed to be, and I'd herd in the stragglers.

    No, I've never been able to teach a chicken their boundaries. But I know someone who trained their chickens to stay off the back porch. If you're worried about them leaving your property, you'll have to pen them up. Mine range over a 10 acre paremeter and the guineas go even further.

    When they freerange there is little to protect them from predators. Their coop and run should be as stout as fort knox on all sides. For hawks they need overhead protection. Mine run under the deck, porch, outbuildings, etc. Against foxes, they need good fencing. When you free range you have to worry about foxes, raccoon, skunks, possums, dogs, hawks, etc. So if there's no livestock guardian or if you don't have dogs, it might not be such a good idea to free range. Or you can free range them with you out there with them near dusk.
  5. badnfluinz

    badnfluinz Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Viola, Illinois
    Oh ya, I have a great pyr/st.bernard mix puppy that stays with them all the time too. He is turning out to be a great watchdog and only 12 weeks old! He knows his job. I have seen him run a few of my birds away from the road. I thought he was chasing them at first but he stopped after they moved away from the road.
  6. Chickens know no boundaries unless they run into a fence.

    You need a bit of acreage to do this and a bit of luck with the predators.

    Most people who do not have a large area just build a free lot or run for their chickies. Some even put netting over for the hawks.
  7. Rivka

    Rivka In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2009
    I use my old dog kennel with wire bottom. I just move her around the yard if I am inside. I let her just roam when I am outside. I keep her in the kennel when I am in as I worry about squirrels
  8. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    why do you worry about squirrels?

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