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Free ranging... how much room?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by loganisle, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. loganisle

    loganisle Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2011
    Brooksville, FL
    How far do chickens normally go when free ranging? I'm on 2.5 acres with horses and think is like to free range my birds. Also, how do you intro them to free ranging? I'm assuming I'll want to keep the chicks in the coop or covered run for a bit after they get out of the brooded and before free ranging...thoughts?
     
  2. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2011
    keep them in the neww coop for a few days or a week....till they know that is their new home.......let them out early evening while it is still light for an hour or two...
    they should go right back in the coop on their own to sleep.....do this for a couple days...each day giving them more time to be outside....then they will roam around but always
    come back to the coop to eat and sleep!
     
  3. navychick

    navychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    Quote:Exactly what I did and it works perfectly.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Do you have a barn? Are chicken friendly farm dogs present? How old are birds?
     
  5. loganisle

    loganisle Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2011
    Brooksville, FL
    Dogs - I have shelties. One has no idea about herding while the other understands a bit intuitively. Neither will attack a chicken.

    I do have an open 3 sided barn, but stalls are all full and I don't generally keep hay in there either. I picked up a 6×16 run today that I intend to put a tarp on as the chicken run when they need to be enclosed. Will be getting a coop put together pretty quick too. My chicks are Speckled Sussex ages one week, three week, and one that I think is closer to five weeks. They aren't the friendliest chicks I've ever seen either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Once they are about 12 weeks of age, if dogs are always about they can be allowed to roost in barn without confinement. Mine would roost on manger or hay rack or other elevated position. Dogs can keep predators of all sorts away. Your run should be covered until chicks get some size or dogs are always close by.
     
  7. loganisle

    loganisle Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2011
    Brooksville, FL
    How far will they free range? Neighbor behind me has boxers that'd snap them up right quick if they actually got that far.
     
  8. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    I have 2 acres but my chicks even after a year stay close to the house. They like th bushes and mulch. They do go in nearby woods but don't stay there very long. The u more u handle them the friendlier they'll be.Try giving treats on ground and gradually from ur hand. Talk to them constantly. Pick them up letting them out and tucking in at night. This is a good time to check for bugs and injuries.
     
  9. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 30, 2011
    Wyoming
    We live on 70 acres. Our house is about 300' or so from the barn, they go at least another 150' past the house in the barley field. And at least 500' the other direction. They like the seeds, and bugs. But they are very weary of their surroundings. They will not go anywhere near a barking dog. They have a very strong instinct for survival. As long as the boxers are behind a fence, they wont go near them. If they are not behind a fence, the boxers will come and get them so that would need to be addressed.

    When I put mine in the coop at 21 days I put three 4x8 panels of rewire wrapped in chicken wire in a loop outside the door for about a week or so. They latch on to the coop pretty quick. They like safe places to sleep, and they will recognize the coop as one. They took a while to venture out, but once they recognized safe areas they venture, Not-so-safe areas they stay away from.
     
  10. opalwednesday

    opalwednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgecrest
    goldies method is the one I used, it worked great. the chickens know how to take care of themselves pretty well. Mine have a bout a hundred foot range from their barn and have never seen most of our 2.5 acres, even though they free range all the time.

    also, you have speckled sussex? [​IMG] me tooo, I love them but the two that I have have been SO slow to warm up to me, it must be in their blood.
     

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