Free ranging my flock

Ryan2016

Chirping
Dec 20, 2015
34
11
72
Connecticut
I recently moved and really hesitant to let them free range at my new house. Will they go back into there coop at night or do I have to round them up. I do let them outside every day but only in the pen. Also I have a waterfall and stream in my backyard... will they go in it..thanks in advance
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jan 30, 2015
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I'd suggest keeping them in the coop for 3-4 days (with food and water, obviously). Thereafter, they should hopefully begin to associate the new coop with "home". Keeping feeding stations close to the coop should help keep them from wandering too far during the first couple of days. You can hang a flashlight in the coop to encourage them to return once darkness begins to fall (turn it off once they are in the coop).

They should not venture into the water - it could be a one way trip to chicken heaven. They are inquisitive however.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,479
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Southeast Louisiana
How long have they been in the coop and pen? What do they do at night, do they go into the coop or try to sleep in the pen? How old are they?

Personally I'd keep them penned in the coop and/or pen for at lest a week to make sure they know where home is. If they are going to bed in the coop instead of in the pen after that I'd let them roam, they should return to the coop at night on their own. If they are not sleeping in the coop section I'd keep putting them inside at night until they learn to. Age might influence my decisions if they are young.

Again, how old are they? Chickens are not water animals but especially if it is very hot they may wade in the shallows to cool off a bit. I don't know how violent that waterfall is or how swift the stream's current is but after they are fully feathered I would not be concerned.
 

Ryan2016

Chirping
Dec 20, 2015
34
11
72
Connecticut
They are a little over 1 year old but have never been free ranged at my new apartment (about a month). They have been sleeping in the Coop every night with not one sleeping in the pen.
 

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