hOW TO GET CHICKENS TO FREE RANGE

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickenMommy, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas
    Hi everyone. I am a new chicken owner. I have 6 (4 rhode islands, 2 black sex-links) They are 8 weeks old. They have just moved outside to their chicken coop, we havent built their chicken run thats to be attached to it yet.
    I would like to be able to let the chicken free range some, we live on 1 1/2 acre. How do I go about traning the chickens to do this? I don't want them to run away, or get hurt, or not be able to get them to come back in....I don't know what to do? PLEASE HELP!

    Thanks!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Kitsune

    Kitsune Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Manchester - England
    If you leave the chickens in the coop/run for a few weeks they will get to know that it is home, when you let them out they will usually come home every evening (I say ususally, I had a couple who liked to roost outside the coop)

    As for keeping safe, well that's like everything, risk and reward, you risk the danger of letting them free range because it's better for them than being cooped up, they might not come into trouble but then again they might... if you had a roo he would help protect them, but you might not be able to have a roo where you are...

    As for running away, I can't see them doing that, 1 1/2 acres should be plenty for them to roam around, they don't like getting too far from 'home'
     
  3. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    predator proof is key!! i lost 10 chickens one night in an instant by coyotes.

    i kept mine in their pen for a couple of weeks before letting them out. that's where they got fed, got scratch, water, and so they knew to come back.

    i also do have some that like to nest outside. i have to go individually pick them up and bring them into the pen.
     
  4. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas
    My biggest concern is that all the near by neighboors have roaming dogs around. I don't plan on letting them free rangs when I am not home, but stil I worry. I know I can have a ROO becasue I hear several, so other people near by must have some.
     
  5. deeszoo

    deeszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2007
    I advise putting up an electric fence around where you want them to range. They will still be free - but safer. Dogs LOVE chicken!!
     
  6. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas
    what kind of electric fence do you use? Where do you get them?
     
  7. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    chickenmommy, After your chicks have been in their new coop for at least a couple weeks, you can start free ranging by leaving them out with only a couple of hours of daylight left for the day. They should head back in by themselves after sundown. Good Luck. We always make sure we around to help deter any predators.

    bigzio
     
  8. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2007
    So. California
    You can fence off a nice sized area just for them and have the coop in the fenced area with them. It gives the benefits of free range while still keeping them confined to some extent for the benefits of safety...and you wouldn't need to get into the expenses of an electrical fence if you're on a budget.

    To lessen the risk of predation by birds, you'd need to fence the top of the area too or use netting such as those used for ponds to keep critters from snacking on koi.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  9. edbama2

    edbama2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Slocomb, Alabama
    Any hardware store or farm center would have the electric fence. Lowes has an electric fence kit for about 50 dollars. [​IMG]
     
  10. waynaria

    waynaria Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2007
    i left them in thier pen for 3 weeks then i let them out for an hour a day for 3 days then increasing the time (with supervision) by an hour a day after that. by about 2 weeks they just got used to it. a good idea is to get a large area closed off for them if you have a larger space or different animals to keep them away from all harm.[​IMG]
     

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