Freeranging, tried this before, will it actually work (UPDATE)


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
The chickens had been free-ranging when they were in their old pen. We moved them to their new, improved coop when they were 20 weeks old. We kept them locked in it for a week before turning them out and it was a disaster!! I posted about how when it was time for bed and they couldn't get to their old pen (it's no longer there) they roosted on my SO's Harley instead!! Since that little fiasco they've been locked up again; 5 additonal days. For the past three days I've let them out into a temporary run where when it's time to roost the only choice they have is to return to the coop. The temp. run is designed in such a way that it funnels back into the coop. I felt like it was important that they actually walk back into the new coop by themselves rather than me carrying them back there.
I want to turn them loose again. Do you think after a total of 12 days they will have figured out the new coop is home or will they insist on going to their old home since they were so old when we moved them?
It might be important to add that the hens are not having any problems laying eggs in the new coop, so you'd think they feel safe enough there?
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Once I let them out, the kids headed immediately to their old playground, but at bedtime, by leading the way I was able to get 15 out of 18 to follow me back to the new coop area. The incentive was millet seed. Three of them went to the old pen area. I hand carried two of them to the coop, then went back for the third one. Couldn't find her at first, then I saw her roosting on my SO's jeep.
What is it about his vehicles?!? I could care less if they jump on my jeep, but noooooo, they prefer his!

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