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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GSPx2, Aug 16, 2013.
How long should I wait till I try the first free range?
I let my girls free range for the first time when they were about 2 months old. I watched them carefully, so they wouldn't get in any trouble, and soon I didn't even need to watch them. But for their first time free ranging, I would just check up on them every once in a while.
I let my 3 roosters start free ranging at about 2 months. maybe even less. we first would bring them into a fence in the yard just to be outside when there were about a month old.
Thanks for the replies. What about a new hen roughly 5 or 6 months old? How long till she should be able to free range?
You can free-range a bird that's fully feathered as long as it knows where "home" is no matter how old they are. As long as the birds have been locked into the coop for long enough to associate it with home (3 days to a week), they'll come back at night. That's really the only hurdle you have to face. If you're nervous about it, let them out an hour before dusk for the first few nights so that they can't get too far away from the coop before it's time for them to head in. You may have one or two not get it at first, but if you go find them and put them in the coop for a night or two, they'll go in by themselves after that.
plus.. you can let one out, and she will stay close to the others that are still in the pen. do that for the first day. then when you let the others out, they will stick with her til they get used to the area.