Free Ranging Decisions...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KHBaker, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. KHBaker

    KHBaker Chirping

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    Mar 21, 2018
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    Hello! This forum has been so helpful already, and as a new chicken owner, I'm finding myself needing advice yet again. Last night with the storms, we moved our chickens into the barn. They love the barn stall and we are considering moving them in full time! The issue is that we can't be there to supervise them during the day and they can fit through our fence right now (6 wks old) so we can't leave them out without supervision. We have a small coop and run, would they be okay going between the covered run and the stall? I don't want them to be inside all day and only have an hour out at night, but I'm not sure what to do and if I can move them between the run and coop every day. It's probably 200ft from the barn to the small coop/run. If they do end up staying in the barn during the day, will they be negatively impacted? Does it hurt them to be inside like that? Both of the barn doors are open, but the stall doesn't have a window to the outside, just by the stall door. When they get older, should they be okay to free range? We have 4 ft high farm fence around our 5 acres.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Many times I have reared chickens in a proper barn like used for livestock. In many ways that is my preferred approach.

    Indoors most or all of time will be OK. I suggest you do that unless they are supervised to limit risk of predators taking them. Does the barn have an elevated storage room?
     
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  3. KHBaker

    KHBaker Chirping

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    Mar 21, 2018
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    That makes me feel better. The barn doesn't have an elevated storage room, but it does have a closed tack room and their feed is in a large rubbermaid container. Do you any suggestions for raising a flock successfully in a barn? They have perches, their food and water, 3 nest boxes, and pine pellets and shavings as bedding. Thank you for your help!
     
  4. Foster's Freehold

    Foster's Freehold Songster

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    That's all you need. The size of the barn will take care of ventilation, and they should have plenty of room to piddle around during the day. Are you gonna train them to follow you to the barn? I'd say it's either that or build a chunnel, but 200 ft would be a long chunnel.
     
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  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Make so you can keep them confined to the room using a door you can see through and through which air can flow. Make certain the get good light without fire risk. Look for where critters might dig or fly in. If releasing for free-range time, then do so later in the day and make certain room does not get dark before they go to roost.
     
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  6. KHBaker

    KHBaker Chirping

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    Mar 21, 2018
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    Thank you for your help! The door is solid, put there is an open panel where air can flow through that is covered in chicken wire, and the top of stall is also covered so that predators cannot fly in. I'm worried about the light, but they get quite a bit from the large barn aisle doors being open and do get let out at night, so I hope that's ok. When it gets warmer, I'll try to move them to their old coop/run during the day since it's more open.
     

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