How old to free range?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by itsazoo, Jun 17, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. itsazoo

    itsazoo In the Brooder

    Jul 6, 2008
    Western PA
    My chicklets are 10 weeks old today. I'm wondering how old they should be before letting them free range around the farm all day unsupervised. When I let them out in the evenings (under supervision) they stay really close to or under the big pine trees & bushes near the coop (that all have branches to the ground so they're really good cover).

    Thoughts? Opinions? Thanks!
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You might consider, if you have roos, waiting til the roos show signs of being protective toward their flock.

    I don't think there is any should to it. Some of mine free range, some not. It's a personal choice. I like them to have the freedom but I don't like the losses. I had losses til they were about 6 months old, 6 months ago. I don't know whether the remaining ones are smarter, or the two extra dogs are keeping the predators at bay.
  3. gamebirdsonly

    gamebirdsonly Crowing

    Mar 5, 2007
    I have been free ranging mine 3 and half to 4 months old.
  4. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    I let mine free range all day as long as I am home! They do fine and they are 12 weeks old i have been doing this for about 3 or 4 weeks! My roo is acting protective!
  5. tackyrama

    tackyrama Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    I have two groups of chicks and one still in the brooder. I let mine out full time on their own at six weeks, no prob. The first day they don't venture far with some not even getting out. After that its a little farther everyday. After two weeks they were out 200 yards with the big ones. We have 20 acres with most wooded but about 5 acres open right in front of the coop so they have a choice of where to go. They liked the woods better at first but now go either. They have good instincts as to what to eat and where home is. I also have a very good rooster to call alarms if they would only listen! They are learning to heed him by watching the older hens. Good Luck
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: