Going to let pullets out to free range tomorrow for the first time

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CarolJ, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    Looking for advice. I'm uneasy about letting my 7 pullets out of their coop/run tomorrow to free range while I clean the coop and build an extention to the run. I'm afraid they won't come back. Any advice or tips to make it go well??
     
  2. Courtney134

    Courtney134 Out Of The Brooder

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    Good luck!

    I'm thinking about letting mine out tomorrow for maybe an hour, but we have 4 acres - no fence. So.. I don't want them wandering off. Plus, I have a dog who doesn't know chickens are not for eating. [​IMG]: I'll probably put her in the house.

    Anyway.. no advice really, but I'll be watching this thread. [​IMG]
     
  3. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Give them some feed and they will become your new best friend. I would be more concerned about predators in the area, have you seen any hawks, racoons or coyotes?
     
  4. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    We live on 90 acres - way away from roads. So I'm not worried about them getting in the road. However, we have lots of woods around us with lots of predators - raccoons, hawks, skunks, possums, coyotes - we've even seen a bobcat or two. So I want them to stay close to the house. I will wait until around 6:00 p.m. to do it so that they'll want to return to the coop to roost around 7:30. I'll keep some good treats nearby, too, to entice them to stay close. I'm nervous, but unless I want them to stay in the coop/run all the time, I've got to do it. :)
     
  5. 4Hchickenproject

    4Hchickenproject Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We let ours out to free range just a few at a time at first, my thinking being that with most of the flock still in the coop, the ones we let out would want to return to them - and they would hear them. I was afraid they would hit the ground running and not come back, but I was pleasantly surprised when they calmly followed the kids around the yard and picked at treats. We carried them to the yard at first and carried them back to the coop, but after two or three times of that, we just let them out, near dark, and each evening a little earlier. So far, all of mine are inside the coop well before dark.

    Good luck with them.
     
  6. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also used the method of only letting out some at a time. It is easier to keep track of them and they don't want to get too far from their buddies.
     
  7. Courtney134

    Courtney134 Out Of The Brooder

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    So how did it go?? I let out all 10 of mine - ranging in age from 4-8 weeks. Um yeah. The little ones got banished back to the coop after about 10 minutes. The big ones have gone all of 2 feet from the coop. Our coop is at the edge of the woods (probably not my BEST idea), and the little ones made a beeline into them. What the heck? lol. They're too little that I wasn't comfortable because I couldn't see them. Our two dogs keep raccoons away, but I have seen a red fox at night that creeps around occasionally. And I believe there are hawks. I feel much safer with them in their coop/run. [​IMG]
     
  8. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    I didn't let them out. I've decided to add on to their run first and build a door in the side of the run to make it easier to let them out. I hope to get that done within the next week - although I'm babysitting one of my granddaughters all week - so I might not be able to get to it this week. I'll update about how it goes. I certainly have learned something about coop design. We bought our coop ready-made, and there isn't a door to let out the chickens! There are two doors in the run - but they're both on the top! Great for putting in the food and water - but impossible to get chickens out. There's a door to the coop - but they only go up there to roost at night. So I will either have to take apart the two sections of the run or I will have to build a door in the side of the run.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. MyLittleRenHens

    MyLittleRenHens New Egg

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    Hi! I too, am trying to figure out the best way for my little rhode island reds to venture into the great outdoors. They are so anxious to go out & we have a fresh hatch of grasshoppers, so I know that they will be a blessing for us to let loose! However, I know that I need to get an outdoor pen built first..... I have to get them into a routine of some sort. I don't want to lose them, that's for sure!
    I have 25 little girls that are about 9 weeks old & they are the sweetest little things! [​IMG]
     
  10. hispoptart

    hispoptart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was so scared to let mine out at first....But they love going out now. They don't go far and I have no problem putting them back in.
     

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