Free Ranging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SimplyForties, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. SimplyForties

    SimplyForties Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Carroll County, Va
    If you free range your flock, how long did you keep your new birds penned up in their coop before turning them out to free range? Just curious how different people handled this. Thanks!
  2. slf_fry

    slf_fry In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2009
    I let mine out around 9:00 and they automatically climb into their coop every night between 8:30 and 9:00. [​IMG]
  3. SimplyForties

    SimplyForties Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Carroll County, Va
    Thanks slf_fry. What I really meant was when you get a new bird, how many days do you keep them closed in the coop to get the idea of "home" before you start letting them out each day? I probably worded that badly! [​IMG]
  4. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    A couple weeks. We have an intermediate area in the chicken house, the new ( already quarantined ) birds go. They can see, and interact with the others, but can't get to each other. After a couple weeks, they have the routine down fine.

  5. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Songster

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    5 days in the run/coop. Then I let them out and they came right back before sundown and put themselves to bed. They were about 4 weeks old when I let them range.

    ETA: The first couple of days you let them out to free range, let them out late afternoon so they just have a couple of hours before dusk. This gets them into the "swing" of things.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My chickens were older by the time we finally had their coop completed - 5+ months old. Before that, they lived on our screened porch.
    I originally planned on keeping them in the coop for a week. However, the first time I let them out of the coop come dusk, they all lined up at the screened door to the porch again. [​IMG]
    It took another week, two weeks total, before they took the hint about the coop being home.
    For another month after that I still had my pullet that was already laying trying to get on the screened porch each day to lay her egg in her favorite chair. [​IMG]
  7. wherethebuffaloroam

    wherethebuffaloroam In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2009
    Brookneal, VA
    I did 1 week with the first 4 hens. They were here about 2 months and I added 6 more hens and a rooster.That was about 2 months ago.I put them in a quickly constructed run attached to the coop for about 2 days. After that i took down the run and let them totally free range 7am to dusk with the others and they all did fine...except for one cornish that decided within the last week to start roosting in the hay shed!!
  8. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    We put our flock of 44 into their new coop when they were about 9 weeks old, I think. We left them inside for a week. (Mostly because the run was not done.) Then we let them go in and out of the run for 2 weeks. After that we let them free range without a problem. They always come home to roost!
  9. RedStarDaddy

    RedStarDaddy Chirping

    Aug 18, 2009
    Mine moved to the chicken house at six weeks. They stayed inside for two weeks after that, and were very good about returning before dark until something took four of my original sixteen. Now I am coaxing them in at dusk with scratch because if I don't they will roost in the trees instead.

  10. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Let's see with mine they got out to the coop at 14 weeks I think. I kept them locked up one week. Then the first day I let them out I was out there with them. It was on a weekend so it was not a problem. I did feed them outside in the morning and evening they got fed inside. Now they only get a night feeding.

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