I've had them since they were a couple weeks old and have had them for about a month now, they are locked up in an open run at the moment, is it time to let them free range yet or should a wait a while more..
The secret is to let one or two out, that way, they won't all be gone. The lucky ones will keep returning to where they belong, to see their friends. That will imprint that this is where should RETURN to. Keep that up for a few weeks, and alternate who gets to explore every day. They are very smart, but have ADD (in my opinion). Good luck!
I turn mine loose as soon as they feather out and can fly.
they stay close to their pen for about 2 months weather it be in the trees above it or the roost inside.
I have dogs to keep an eye out for preditors so they are safe and even the snakes don't mess with them but then i got eggs everywhere around here in hidden nest so the snakes tend to eat them and the rats or mice that venture their way.
Quote:As soon as they have their feathers and can fly you can turn them out to free rage. I try to keep mine in their pen as long as I can because I think the longer they are in their pen the better they will do when they are out. My adults that I have now I kept in a 10x10 dog kennel until they were almost a year old. They have done very god and I have only lost one and that was my fault. But it is up to you really, I just think the long in the cage the better.
It really depends on your predator load (both wild and domestic), property perimeter/boundaries and how much time you can spend "babysitting" them at first. IMO young keets are way too easily taken by predators, and after putting pounds and pounds of starter feed into them I want them to survive and earn their keep doing tick, snake and property patrol for me and not just feed the predators for a few nights... so I start letting mine out at 12 weeks when they have a little more grey matter upstairs, and can fend for themselves a lot better. I work with them quite a bit on getting them to come running for treats when I call them with a specific call and also getting them used to being herded around (in the covered pen) without them going totally bonkers and getting all flighty and stupid, long before I start letting them out. (I coop/pen my birds at night in order to keep from losing them to predators, so coming when called and learning the routine of being herded in to coop up each night is crucial for survival out here in the foot hills where I live). This is just what I do, and what works for my flocks. Everyone has their own routine tho.