Free Ranging age readiness

hegazi

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2017
23
2
34
MA
At what age are the chicks ready to free range? I'd love to let our roosters (3 months old) and older hens (about 1.5 months old) out to roam but I'm afraid they won't come back. I am just getting them into their coop, should I let them get comfortable in it before letting them out free or will they just know when to come back by instinct? We have about 2 acres of grass surrounded by woods so there are wild animals around and we've seen fisher cats, fox, raccoons, and hawks circling our property.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,418
1,462
Wisconsin
Keep them penned about 2 weeks. I than open the door. They generally don't go far initially. I have free ranges chicks as young as 5- 6 weeks without a mother hen. They go a few feet away initially, than as they grow they go further. They generally find a favorite spot and hang out there most of the day. I haven't ever had one not return.

Predators are another thing. If you are worried about them, than only let them out when you can keep an eye on them.
 

JetDoc750

Chirping
Sep 15, 2018
25
35
62
Goddard, Ks
I was wondering about this as well. ours are almost 6 weeks old. Their run is built inside of our fenced back yard so I think they would be fine there. I just want to be sure they are big enough to fend off our cats. The 13 year old Boarder Collie is really just a big chicken herself so I dont believe she will be a problem. These 10 are our 1st chickens so are learning on their own. Any suggestions?
 

JetDoc750

Chirping
Sep 15, 2018
25
35
62
Goddard, Ks
Thanks. 2ndary question. Since their coop has its own enclosed run and our overnight temps are still in the 70's do we need to continue to close the coop door for night? So far, we have seen no predators around and the coop is entirely wired in.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom