Free ranging new chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by skyfilly, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. skyfilly

    skyfilly In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    Hi everyone,

    I'm very excited that I finally took the plunge and bought my first 3 Orpington Buffs, a young rooster and two young hens. They are super laid back and sweet. These are my first chickens ever! I've had them in my barn, free ranging and have them their roost. Food and water. They been on the grower chick feed and introduced them to a few fruits but they are not interested yet. My question is. Can I let them outside to free range my yard? I'm afraid they will take off. All my friends that have chickens, they stay in the yard but where mine are new, I'm not sure if they will know to stick around the yard and go back to the roost at night. I'd really like to free range them. Any tips would be helpful.

  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Congratulations on your first chickens. Buff Orpingtons are a great breed; hardy, calm and gentle, and good layers of large, brown eggs. If you have been keeping them in your barn for awhile and they have been roosting there, it just be okay to let them free range. Just open the door and let them wander out on their own. As the day draws to a close, they should return to their roosts on their own. Just make sure you don't have any predators around that might make a meal of one or more of them. Good luck with your flock.
  3. skyfilly

    skyfilly In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    Thank you, I've had them about 4-5 days now and was hoping they would get the idea that this is their home by now. I haven't seen any predators around since we purchased this place a few months ago. Only other livestock I have is a horse and she seems very comfortable here and often lays for long periods and naps, day and night. So I'm assuming if anything was around to be worried about. She would let us know. I'm pretty excited, I've always wanted my own flock :)
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X2, once they know where the coop is and consider it home (usually a week or so will do it) chickens will generally go back to it at night. Predators will be the big potential problem free ranging, many animals that will kill chickens would not upset a horse.
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So glad you could join our community! Yes, once they know where home is, they will always return to the coop. They won't stray too far from the coop at first and will venture farther and farther each day. Just keep in mind that when you free range, you have to be willing to lose a few along the way. Predators are everywhere.

    Enjoy your new birds and welcome to our flock!
  6. skyfilly

    skyfilly In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    They were really good, they went out and stayed around the barn for a few hours and then all hopped in through the door single file and went to bed haha! Success! I watched them like a hawk the whole time. It was nice to see them enjoy themselves for a bit :)
  7. ronmauldin

    ronmauldin Songster

    Jan 25, 2014
    Rhode Island
    Welcome from the Ocean State!
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Predators will try and get in any way they can. Be sure windows, doors and other openings are secure. Free ranging is a great way to insure happiness and exercise in your flock. But you will lose more to predators.

    Here are some pros and cons

    -Happier chickens
    -Generally healthier chickens
    -More room=exercise and ability to have more chickens
    -They will eat less food


    -Easy targets for predators
    -Generally more prone to diseases and parasites
    -Can get hurt and killed more easily.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  10. Alright [​IMG] great to have you joining the BYC flock [​IMG]

    BYC has a very useful learning center [​IMG]

    I can understand your worries about free ranging you flock but if you beep them in the yard in a cage for a week the should have no problem staying around just have some feed out for them contently so they do not wonder-off .....

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