Gonna try free ranging today (a little nervous)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cheeperchick, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. cheeperchick

    cheeperchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2013
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    I've seen other backyard flocks roam yards when I drive home from work and I would like to start supervised free ranging for my flock of 10. They will be 17-19 weeks tomorrow. I would like to give them at least an hour before sundown of free ranging before going back to the coop at night.

    I have a fenced up yard and all my dogs are in dog runs with an open top. Here's what I have:

    1 White Rock
    1 Buff Orp (unkown boy or girl yet)
    2 Black Sex Link
    1 Production Red/RIR Roo
    1 RIR
    1 Delaware Roo (ordered a girl, came out to be a boy)
    1 GLW
    2 Game Hens (rescued from someone who didn't want them anymore, really didn't want to take em in but I did ) https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/814606/cant-figure-out-these-birds/10

    My worry is the game hens since they are very skittish and trust me very little. My neighbors behind me have a large dog but I think the fence is about 6' high in the back and I have 8' fencing on the sides of the property. Front of the house has rock wall/wrought iron fencing about 5" tall.

    Should I go for it and see how they do? [​IMG] I have alfalfa leaves and rolled oats to 'lure' them back in when it's getting dark.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    How much area do they have?

    The game hens will tame down with just a little work.
     
  3. cheeperchick

    cheeperchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Property is about 1/4 acre.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    That will be a little tight. The free ranging for only an hour is good idea to prevent birds from going over fence. I can describe method for training games to come to you.
     
  5. It's ok! They should be just fine! I do agree with letting the free range for shot amounts of time then all day!
     
  6. cheeperchick

    cheeperchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope so. I'm just a little worried I guess. I had an incident earlier this year where one of my older ones got 'taken' by a hawk or something. She would free range and roost in a tree at night. All that was left was some feathers outside our font fence. She liked to jump over the front wall and wonder across the street then come back.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Keeping them tight while free-ranging and in predator tight location at night greatly reduces risk of loss.
     
  8. EquestrianGirl

    EquestrianGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2013
    As we live in an area where large dogs often roam free, I always supervise my girls when they are out. I usually will let them out while I fill their feeder, clean the coop, rake up leaves and grass to add to the run, and clean their water. It usually takes me around an hour to do all of the normal chicken chores, and they never really wander very far. And it's pretty funny, they were raised in the shade because their entire run is under a roof. So when it's sunny out, they stay in the shade of a large nearby tree, and don't set foot in the sun! [​IMG] Hey, it makes them easy to find!
     
  9. cheeperchick

    cheeperchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My run is also completely covered. I let them out for about 40 min yesterday and it was a success...they were so curious and made it back to the coop with no hassle. [​IMG]
     

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