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How old before I free-range???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken_Lover4567, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Chicken_Lover4567

    Chicken_Lover4567 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Central Texas
    I have some Barred rocks (4 weeks old) I was wondering how old they should be before I start free-ranging. I have a cat, but I don't think she'll mess with them once they get a little bigger. Could someone help me out? [​IMG]
     
  2. holliewould

    holliewould Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    Planet Earth
    I free ranged mine with 3 cats and a rotty at 2 months old(maybe younger). At first I just visited every hour or so then I just kind of let them roam without worries but still checking up when i heard something off the wall. Took us about two weeks to acclimate . Now they are fatties and they sit out 12 hrs with no worries. They are about 5 months old now. I get home and toss out treats then an hour later close the door to their coop. Such good girls. I can't believe how GOOD they are. Simply perfect animals.
     
  3. Chicken_Lover4567

    Chicken_Lover4567 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Central Texas
    Thanks for the information. It's really helpful. I love BYC! [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My chickens made the decision when they were ready for true free-ranging. Up until about 15 weeks old they were quite content to stay in the yard, close to their "comfort areas"; a large bush and a corner of the house where they would run when frightened. One day recently they decided to check out the world on the outside of the fence and they haven't looked back. Yesterday when I went out to check on them I found them really far off. I'm no good at describing distances, but try to imagine our house sits on a 1/2 acre fenced area, the fenced garden space next to that is a little over a 1/2 acre, and they were in the meadow on the other side of that! They start working their way back towards the house and their pen at dusk. The only thing I've really had to worry about is our cat. She's very small, only 2 and a half pounds, but she's already proven she can't be trusted around the chickens. She's become an indoor cat while they roam, then I put her out at night after the chickens have gone in to roost.
     

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