How old to free range?

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itsazoo

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 6, 2008
98
1
41
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!
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
535
448
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.
 

The Chicken People

Songster
10 Years
May 4, 2009
2,440
5
191
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!
 

tackyrama

Songster
11 Years
Aug 14, 2008
460
3
131
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
 
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