HELP! inheriting 3 free ranging hens tonight and

birdmomma

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 22, 2010
48
0
22
Loveland, OH
their little coop, which I'm excited about, BUT I haven't built a run yet. These birds are used to running around loose.

My question is, should I stay out in our fenced yard with them, locking them up when I go inside. Should I clip their wings?

I've been working on plans for my coop and have chicks ordered, but this just all of a sudden happened.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
690
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
If you free range them, there is always the risk of predators getting to them. Lots of people do free range, though.

It is up to you in terms of what you prefer. If you do free range, I recommend NOT clipping their wings. I have witnessed a chicken successfully fly away from an attacking cat. Had I clipped her wings, she would have died and the cat would have eaten her.

They should put themselves in the coop at night, if they are used to it being home. Then you just lock them up.

I don't know if I answered all your questions or not....
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
139,569
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Out to pasture
I think you are supposed to lock new birds in the coop for three days so they know where their home is, then let them out in your fenced run. They should put themselves back in the coop at dusk.
 

birdmomma

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 22, 2010
48
0
22
Loveland, OH
I guess the confusion for me is that the coop that they've lived in is going to all of a sudden be in my yard. So they'll know their house, it's the yard they don't know.
(I also have to train my dog not to bark his fool head off at them at the same time.) Our fence isn't too tall - 5 feet so I figure they'll get out if they want to - my run plans have a covered top since we do have hawks in the neighborhood. Do you think they'll adjust to a run after being free all this time?

Thanks for the advice about the wings....
 

schellie69

Songster
10 Years
Oct 8, 2009
4,077
16
211
Kansas
If you have a 5 foot fence and they are full size chickens, they will more then likely not be able to fly over the fence. You can clip their wings to help. Is your whole yard fenced if so then you should be able okay.
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
46
274
New Jersey
Sorry to be a harbinger of doom but watch out that your dog doesn't access them or you will likely have a catastrophe on your hands..
JJ
 

birdmomma

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 22, 2010
48
0
22
Loveland, OH
I'll work with the dog - he's a miniature poodle and I don't think I can trust him that much - hopefully the bark collar will help.

I know one of the chicks is a barred rock - everything I seen makes it look like they can fly quite well. Guess I'll keep an eye on them till the run is in.
 

Patricia Jane

Songster
9 Years
Oct 28, 2010
751
9
119
Petaluma CA
I have 4- 6mo old hens with a 5 foot fence and yes mine had no problem flying over. One is a brown leghorn with a clipped wing and she had no problem. So I put a cover on mine.
 

secuono

Songster
May 29, 2010
1,832
18
204
Virginia
Lock them in the coop for a week for them to learn their new home, clip the wings and let them free near dusk for the 2nd week. Then just let them be.
Of course, predators are everywhere...but that is all up to you if you want to lock them in a pen or let them continue to free range.
 

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