How to Free range your chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickens4life03, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. chickens4life03

    chickens4life03 New Egg

    Sep 28, 2011
    I'm new to chickens and I just rescently order a new flock from Mcmurrys Hatchery. When they become of age i would like them to free range i don't have a fenced in yard but i have a lot of land im just very worried that if i let them out of the coop there not going to go back in or there going to stray away any advice or what to do would be helpfull.
  2. brambleberries

    brambleberries Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 11, 2012
    My Coop
    Let them out once a day for a few weeks as they grow older. Put some food in a place nearby wherever you want them to sort of stay around once they are free ranging, and let them have access to that food during the times you let them out. Once they have figured out that that is where their food will appear everyday, they will have no problem staying "around" that area. They probably will not stray far from it, even when they are free-ranging. My chickens always stay where they can see their food. We live on 25 acres and they don't go but maybe 50 yards away from their food at the farthest. The ones who sleep out of the coop at night even have their sleeping spots within 20 feet of the food.
    Good luck!

    p.s. Don't forget that when you free range their is a much bigger chance that something could happen to them, regarding predators.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  3. crankster76

    crankster76 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    u will need a coop and a run. the birds need to get use to it and once they do it becomes home or the safe haven and they will return to it every night. not to worry. the thing to worry about is free ranging is hazardous to there health. [preditors] everything likes to eat them. hawks , coyotes,coons possums,etc,etc..mine only free range when I am able to watch them.
  4. RThomas

    RThomas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Just keep them in the coop for about a week. Thereafter, they should return to it just before dark. I don't have a run and never have. My chickens free range during the day. Just be aware that with free range, there will likely be occasional losses.
  5. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    X 2. Though even after they been in the coop a week or two, You may have to "herd" them in for a couple of days until they get the idea that's where they are supposed to go at night.(At least that's what I had to do)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  6. chickens4life03

    chickens4life03 New Egg

    Sep 28, 2011
    Thanks for all the info its helpfull
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    As long as they know where their home base is (the coop) they will stay relatively close to it. For the first few weeks, they will stay within eye distance of it.
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Think about cover birds can use avoid predators and placement of food resources (feeding stations) in close proximity to those cover patches. Mixed flock which icludes full adult rooster(s) will provide a measure of protection from diurnal raptors.

    You need to have a dog big enough to whoop a fox as well.
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas


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